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By Courtney

Still having problems with hashtags?  Take a moment to remember the symbol on your phone that was often referred to as the pound sign or the number sign.  Now we use this symbol followed by words or numbers, no spaces or characters, and voila you have a hashtag.  It's actually a pretty simple concept; hashtags help you trend your event or organization.  On each social media site you can click on a specific hashtag which will take you to a news feed of nothing but posts that include that specific hashtag.

Essentially a hashtag was meant to be a way for people to find a news feed about a specific topic, event, or person.  Now I'm sure we've all seen the humorous videos mocking hashtags, and it's no wonder when you see a social media post with 5 to 8 random hashtags slapped onto it.  We've even seen spammers often broadcast tweets with popular hashtags even if the tweet has nothing to do with the hashtag used.

So let us help you!  First you can create your own unique hashtag; the key here is unique yet easily identified.  So let's say you are planning a conference titled, Illinois District Council 2014.  You could create #ILDC14.  The main reason you've developed this hashtag is to get all of your attendees to use it in their tweets or posts about your event.  This will not only get your event trending on social media and pump up the WOM factor, but you will have started a news feed for your attendees to check out pictures, connect with others, and hype up the event to those that didn't attend.

Maybe you're not up to making your own hashtag, and for everyday posts that's ok!  Second rule of the thumb for using hashtags is to explore new hashtags!  See what is currently trending, see what is already out there; a great news feed might already exist that your post will fit right into.  Remember, when using trending hashtags you are not alone in posting to that news feed, and with that comes the good and the bad.

We were curious!  A&W had an agency create this hashtag which landed them the "world's longest hashtag" title.  We would not recommend a hashtag this long for your event or group!


Christian Retreats Network /

Based at Lake Williamson / PO Box 620 / Carlinville, IL 62626