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Have You Seen The Hashtags? (it looks like a number sign or the pound key)

If you’ve been using Twitter lately, you may have noticed tweets with hashtags in them. They look something like this: #sbbuzz, #DIYMKTG, #brandchat, etc. Don’t be alarmed, there’s nothing wrong with your computer.

The Birth of the Hashtag

The use of the hashtag on Twitter started on September 18, 2008. It was created by journalists in St. Louis who were looking for a way to group the tweets about the Vice Presidential debate. They started using #vpdebate as part of their tweets.

Since then, the hashtag has grown exponentially in popularity; mostly as a keyword tag so that people who are at a shared event can ultimately group these conversations together.

Tweet Up, Chat, Discuss and Brainstorm — Here’s How

I’ve been invited to lots of local Tweet-Ups. I’ve been to some, but it’s often tough to fit in a drive across town either in the morning or the evening. Now, you can get together with a group for a virtual party using th hashtag and your choice of third-party Twitter tools such as TweetChat or TweetGrid. Here’s how to pull it together.

  1. Decide on a hashtag (tag, keyword) #DIYMKT is one I created for our DIYMarketers community.
  2. Head over to http://twitter.com/hashtagsand follow them. (If you currently don’t have a twitter account, just go to www.twitter.com and click on “join the conversation.”? Create your profile and you’re ready to go.
  3. I would also recommend that you create a blog page as a summary of your Tweet Ups and updates for the group. Here is the example I’m following: http://sbbuzz.biz/Notice how they’ve done a terrific job in giving you a real flavor for what their group is about and also wonderful instructions as to how to join and participate.
  4. The next thing you want to do is head over to www.tweetchat.com where you can create a chat room with your designated hashtag. They will ask you for your twitter name and password. It will take you to a page that looks just like your Twitter home page. It will ask you for the “room to enter”? this is where you put in your hashtag i.e. #DIYMKT.
  5. Another option is to use TweetGrid. TweetGrid allows you to follow multiple hastag’s and accounts all on one screen. It’s a terrific way to manage and participate in several conversations.
  6. Now it’s time to promote. Nothing big and fancy necessary here – simply invite a few friends, give them the hashtag and tell them to tell their friends and so on. You may not have a huge audience at first, but give it time.
  7. Rinse and repeat. The power of these tweet chats and virtual parties is in having them regularly, because not everyone can come all the time and your community will grow over time.

Be on the lookout for #DIYMKT chat coming your way next week. Start a chat of your own and leave the details as a comment on this post.

What other chats are your favorites? Tell us here.







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