What are #Hashtags? Why use them?


What are #Hashtags? Why use them?

It is a given that most people that live here LOVE Aiken. We all have experience, expertise, and a ton of ideas about where we live.   A lot of people want to start utilizing our collective talents to help move things along and get some energy started. Social media sites are a great place to start informal conversation and #hashtags string those conversations together. (#StartSomewhere!)

Hashtags are those words within social media posts that start with the # symbol.  When you click on the #word, it shows you all the other posts that have used that #hashtag– allowing you to reach the general public beyond your “friends”. (Privacy settings should be “public” on posts that you want the public to see. Otherwise, you can build a team among your “friends”.)

Let’s say that you are really passionate about quality education in Aiken.  You see an article that others that are also passionate about education might like to read.  You share it on your page. Your friends may see it, press “like”, and possibly one person will share it. Alternatively, you make the post public and use a #hashtag like “#Aiken4Education”. Then others will start searching the hashtag when they see it.  You can easily become part of an education “tribe” in Aiken!

We can applaud new entrepreneurs and showcase opportunities by sharing #Aiken4Business posts. Showcase your products or develop some local supply chains by using #MadeinAikenCounty#Aiken4Music is an excellent #hashtag to help our phenomenal local musicians thrive and for venue owners to let us know when there is an opportunity for quality live music around town!  Some folks have even started using #notDowntown to help all of our business neighborhoods thrive. Come up with your own #Aiken4Aiken interest groups by starting some new #hashtags! (But don’t expect your results immediately- remember that patience pays off!)

The City of Aiken has been using some excellent hashtags to globally promote Aiken:  #VisitAikenSC and #DowntownAiken are two examples. We are so fortunate that they have wholly embraced our initial OneAiken – open collaborations brainstorming  project to develop a grassroots hashtag: #Aiken4Aiken.  Use that main hashtag plus your own interest group hashtag so that more people see your posts and choose to join in the effort. We can help keep government smaller and more effective with some team oriented sweat equity we can implement ourselves!

There is no excuse for those of us on social media to lament that we can’t find people interested in talking ideas, working together for our common causes or finding new, and possibly lucrative, opportunities. The days of expecting the City to initiate everything will be history and mutual benefit will become top of mind, only making our efforts even more important.  Just take some time to experiment with some #hashtags and let’s see what happens.  People are our greatest assets and conversation is how Aiken will grow! Local hashtags are a powerful tool for social media users to find their niche and add their heart to the process.

Our One Aiken – open collaborations partners believe that we can spread good ideas and promote Aiken through informal social forums.  We provide the face to face conversation opportunities, more formal communications channels, and frameworks to help grassroots share their “What Success Looks Like?” goals.  All are welcome to join us! Check out OneAiken.Com for more information.