Tag Archives: Social Media

The Beginner’s Guide to the Hashtag

The Beginner’s Guide to the Hashtag

If you’re a social media novice, hashtags — those short links preceded by the pound sign (#) — may seem confusing and unnecessary. But they are integral to the way we communicate online, and it’s important to know how to use them (even though some people, like Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake, are not the biggest fans). Plus, they can be a lot of fun.On Twitter, the pound sign (or hash) turns any word or group of words that directly follow it into a searchable link. This allows you to organize content and track discussion topics based on those keywords. So, if you wanted to post about the Breaking Bad finale, you would include #BreakingBad in your tweet to join the conversation. Click on a hashtag to see all the posts that mention the subject in real time.

The hashtag’s widespread use began with Twitter but has extended to other social media platforms. In 2007, developer Chris Messina proposed, in a tweet, that Twitter begin grouping topics using the hash symbol. Twitter initially rejected the idea. But in October 2007, citizen journalists began using the hashtag #SanDiegoFire, at Messina’s suggestion, to tweet updates on a series of forest fires in San Diego. The practice of hashtagging took off; now users and brands employ hashtags to cover serious political events (#Cairo) and entertainment topics (#MileyCyrus) alike.

With our beginner’s guide, you’ll be hashtagging like a pro in no time.

How do you make the most of hashtags? Let us know in the #comments.

Supported Characters


Image: Flickr, Roberta Cortese

Which characters can you include in a #hashtag?

For starters, spaces are an absolute no-no. Even if your hashtag contains multiple words, group them all together. If you want to differentiate between words, use capitals instead (#BlueJasmine). Uppercase letters will not alter your search results, so searching for #BlueJasmine will yield the same results as #bluejasmine.

Numbers are supported, so tweet about #50ShadesOfGrey to your heart’s content. However, punctuation marks are not, so commas, periods, exclamation points, question marks and apostrophes are out. Forget about asterisks, ampersands or any other special characters.

Keep in mind that the @ symbol does something completely different. Using @ before a person’s Twitter handle will tweet at him directly, letting him know you have written to him via the @Connect tab. A hashtag will not. Sometimes users will hashtag a celebrity’s name instead of using her Twitter handle — it is acceptable to tweet #Lorde or @lordemusic. But if you are trying to reach someone directly, don’t use a hashtag.

There is no preset list of hashtags. Create a brand new hashtag simply by putting the hash before a series of words, and if it hasn’t been used before, voilà! You’ve invented a hashtag.

Supported Platforms

Social Media Icons

Image: Flickr, mkhmarketing

Most major social media platforms support hashtags. These include:

Twitter: Twitter is the birthplace of modern hashtag usage — as such, its hashtags are more versatile than other sites’ (see “Tone & Voice,” below). Twitter hashtags are mainly used to denote specific topics of conversation; the “Trends” sidebar of your Twitter feed curates a list of hashtags you might be interested in, based on your tweets.

When you search for a hashtag on Twitter, there are three ways to filter the results. The “Top” option displays the most relevant and popular posts, including those from users you don’t follow. “All” shows you every tweet that uses the specific hashtag in real time, and “People you follow” will only display results from users you are following.

Hashtag Search Results

Facebook: Facebook only recently added hashtag support in June 2013, and the practice has not picked up much steam. Nevertheless, clicking on Facebook hashtags will take you to a list of posts containing the same hashtag. The results are not limited to people you know.

Instagram: Hashtags can be used to complement photos shared on Instagram and help you discover new accounts and pick up followers. Some hashtags were created specifically for Instagram photo challenges — #ThrowbackThursday, for example, encourages users to post retro photos. Vine uses hashtags in the same way — try accompanying each of your Vine videos with at least one hashtag to maximize shareability.

Google+: When you click on a hashtag in Google+, the search results will include the original hashtag as well as posts with similar tags and keywords. Google search results display on the left side of the page, while hashtag results from within Google+ appear on the right. Google also gives you the option to search within Facebook or Twitter.

Tumblr: Tumblr posts have a special “Tag” section where you can enter tags. These tags function like Twitter hashtags, organizing posts by topic, but the hash symbol is inserted automatically. Hashtags included in the main body of a post are not transformed into links.

Pinterest: Use Pinterest hashtags to mark and search for content. Click on the hashtag in a pin description to navigate results that contain the exact hashtag, plus pins with the same word or phrase in the description.

Curious which hashtags are trending across social media? Hashtags.org tells you which tags are hot in real time.

Tone and Voice

Beyond simply organizing your tweets, Twitter hashtags can help you craft your voice while joining in a larger discussion. You can use multiple hashtags in one tweet, but don’t go overboard. One to three is generally an acceptable range.

In a post for The New Yorker, Susan Orlean points out that hashtags can provide colorful commentary as a sort of “muttered into a handkerchief” aside, to give context and to convey humor or sarcasm.

Sometimes a hashtag is so zany or specific that there are few, if any, search results attached to it. These exist mainly for entertainment purposes. Orlean gives the example “Sarah Palin for President??!? #Iwouldratherhaveamoose.” As she points out, it is unlikely anyone would actually search for “#Iwouldratherhaveamoose,” but it adds a dash of humor that followers appreciate.

Here are some sample tweets that use hashtags (in bold) to add context, humor and voice:

  • Let the weekend begin! #TGIF
  • Wearing socks with Crocs is so stylish #kidding
  • Just dropped my second ice cream cone. #fail
  • I hate when people smoke e-cigarettes indoors. #annoying #rude #whygodwhy
  • The movie #Gravity is beautiful, but so terrifying! #nevergoingtospace
  • I’m loving ‘The Sound of Things Falling’ by Juan Gabriel Vasquez #FridayReads
Business and Marketing

Many major brands now have Twitter accounts, and some choose to create hashtags to promote specific events or campaigns. If you want to use Twitter as part of your business strategy, here are a few tips to keep in mind:


Consolidate your tweets: Choose a specific account that will represent your brand or business. Set up a business account, or designate one employee to tweet on behalf of the company. That way, users can find all of your tweets in one place.

Use relevant hashtags: See what hashtags other businesses in your field are using. If you’re promoting cheap airfare, you will want to use hashtags like #CheapTravel and #FlightDeals so users will find you when they search for those keywords.

Follow trends: See what hashtags are trending and make use of them — if they are relevant to your business. Using a popular hashtag that has nothing to do with your brand (for example, including #MileyCyrus in a tweet about cheap airfare) makes you look like a spammer and will hurt your credibility.

Create your own hashtag: If you want to create a special hashtag for an event or campaign, select one that hasn’t been used before and remind everyone to use it in related tweets. Be sure to include the hashtag in any promotional materials. Make it informative but short — for example, Mashable uses #MashReads to talk about writers who visit our HQ.

Generate buzz: Creating a contest, raffle or promotion is a great way to get Twitter talking about your brand. Users will be more likely to retweet your hashtags if they know they might win a prize by doing so. For instance, if you’re promoting a new confectionery shop called Candy Land, get Twitter buzzing by offering free treats to users who tweet #CandyLandPromo.

Remember, your hashtag’s visibility will depend on your privacy settings. If your Twitter account is private, only those authorized to see your tweets will have access to your hashtags. If you are using hashtags to increase your brand’s exposure, make sure your tweets are set to Public.

Best Practices

Tweet Me Candy

Image: Flickr, TPorter2006

Twitter has a helpful list of best practices for using hashtags, but here are three key tips for all users:

Be specific: If you’re using a hashtag to join a conversation, make sure the hashtag is specific and relevant to your topic. If you’re talking about Obama’s health care plan, use #Obamacare instead of simply #Obama. A vague or generic hashtag like #health or #opinion isn’t effective either.

Keep it simple: Hashtags, like links, look like spam if they are used too often. Three hashtags should be the maximum on Twitter and Facebook, but you can get away with more hashtags on Instagram and Vine. And don’t hashtag the same word twice (“#Gravity is a great movie! Everybody go see #Gravity”). It’s #redundant.

Give context: A tweet that contains only hashtags is not only confusing — it’s boring. If your tweet simply reads, “#happy,” your followers will have no idea what you’re talking about. Similarly, if you tweet, “#BreakingBad is #awesome,” you’re not really adding much to the conversation.


Image: Flickr, misspixels


Track your hashtags here: http://www.hashtags.org/

For more training information on social media sign up for free on the Virtual Marketing Empire Free Online Marketing Training Center: TEAM VME

 Make it a great day!

Adele & Christina

Virtual Marketing Empire

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The two Biggest Mistakes in Traffic Conversion

The two Biggest Mistakes in Traffic Conversion

What is the point of generating a lot of traffic with valuable content if you do not convert them into clients or evangelists?

Content can be maximized in all sorts of places – Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and so forth. Having said that, your blog is still where you should focus your energies.



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Reasons for Traffic Conversion mistakes:

The reason is because social media is mostly good for two items:

  1. creating engagement
  2. driving traffic back to your website

The second is paramount because your website is where the funnel effect takes place. This means that all traffic sources must return to your home field where you will convert looky-loos into paying customers or whooping cheerleaders.

Think about it. Will you sign a new client on Twitter or Facebook? Probably not. You will, however, use social to drive the traffic home for conversion.


Lack of Calls to Action (CTA)

A call to action, or CTA, is a banner, button, text link or request meant to direct a user to act on something.

Sometimes, it can even be a photo! You can think of CTAs as, “The next step is to (blank).”

All of your social media efforts — photos, photos, texts, etc. — should link back to your site. It’s pointless to circulate conversation on a

platforms that do not convert.


Toooooo Many Calls to Action

Just as it is important to give users options (CTAs), it is also important to not give too many requests.

Imagine if your content post has lots of outbound links. Each link is a potential distraction, which means that each link decreases the chance of your users from finishing reading.

Therefore, be selective. Supplementary links are good. Too many are bad, especially if the links go to an external site (not owned by you). Why would you want the traffic to leave your site?

I hope this article brought you value.  Please comment below. We would appreciate you’re feedback
Make it a Great Day!!
Adele Coco Roberts
Success always starts with a Positive Mindset..  Come join our live morning mindset call:
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Training For Network Marketing Today Can Be Overwhelming


Training For Network Marketing Today Can Be Overwhelming





With so many network marketing opportunities around today and also so much network marketing training it can feel like you are getting snowed under with all the tips and tricks. Somebody who is just starting out will have all sorts of network marketing scams and training thrown at them.  That can be very discouraging and make network marketing overwhelming for some!

I can be very hard for new people to know what to learn and where to get that training from. Well first and foremost if you’re new then start by learning one thing at a time. 

Your network marketing company will have training for you, but you will need to learn what to do once you have used up your list of 100 friends and family! Hint your family won’t be interested and they are not your market.

You have to look at your business and your education in your business as a long term investment. It will take time to learn everything and most people can start building a business by just learn one marketing technique.

Think of yourself like a doctor, on day one a doctor does not know everything, they learn one thing at a time and master it before moving on. If they try and do everything they will have information overload.

Also don’t start jumping from program to program if you don’t see instant results. The internet is a wonderful thing but even Google takes their time to index new content. You have to be in it for the long haul.

There are tons on network marketing tools and network marketing systems that will help you build your business. They will have training on every type of marketing method you can think of but you don’t need to do them all.

Just pick one and start to study it and get as much information as you can about that method. Remember you have the world;s biggest training library at your figure tips, GOOGLE!

Whatever you need to know will be in there, if it’s not and you know it can be done then show others how to do it. This is called being a leader.


Here at Virtual Marketing Empire we have everything you need from start to finish and it is simplified.  Check us out at our website:  http://www.virtualmarketingempire.com      … then explode you’re business in our Free online Business Registry !!!   We truly are here to help you succeed!


Make it a wonderful day!!!


Adele Coco Roberts

Virtual Marketing Empire


Remember it always starts with your mindset.  This call can help you move forward!

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Extra Income Through Affiliate Marketing

Extra Income Through Affiliate Marketing

affiliate marketing

Affiliate Marketing is the fastest growing industry on the Internet today. Extra Income through affiliate marketing made through this channel runs into billions of dollars yearly. Many people get involved in it without a solid plan for success. Indeed, many want to earn extra income using affiliate marketing, albeit without a real base plan, which is the most important reason for most being unsuccessful at it. Do you really look at any earning without understanding or planning the future of any business, be it at work or at earning extra income?

Don not be under any misconceptions, though affiliate marketing is an easy and entertaining way to earn extra income, it is serious work, and just like any other job that requires effort, perseverance, and above all, a clear line of sight and plan of action from start to finish line.

Small things like setting up your home office properly, getting up to date on know-how, setting achievable goals, making people connections, and investment in your business will ensure that you are one-up on your competition, and also make sure that you firmly stand over them.

Home Office Setup 

The most important step to take before becoming an affiliate marketer is to set up your base, a little home office you’ve always wanted.

You can find many resources on the internet about ergonomic design. Ergonomic because anyone intending to spend a major amount of time working on their computers need space which promotes good posture at the same time takes care of safety issues involving their office work space.

Learning the Trade 

Nobody gets into work untrained. Even when you applied for your first job, you had made sure that you are qualified and can do justice to it. Putting in a nutshell, no one hires you for giving you a free extra income without basic training.

What you need then, is to get some training on how to become a professional affiliate marketer. You can start by finding another one and check what they can do to help you. There are many professional affiliate marketers already earning a substantial extra income, who would be willing to teach you by passing o their knowledge so that you can augment the extra income they are already earning. The internet also offers a lot of resources and conference time tables which you can attend to learn.

The secret is to become a student of your own business; you will get to learn something new day after day. Now you are ready to begin by setting some realistic goals for yourself.


The major problem that plagues most affiliate marketers is that they tend to set themselves unrealistic goals by being over confident about their skills and plans. This results in becoming disenchanted very quickly due to non attainment of goals. Being realistic removes a lot of pain in this context. For example a goal of $5,000 a month realistically attainable, but a first time affiliate marketer is not likely to attain it when starting up.

Follow these guidelines if you are serious about making extra income through affiliate marketing!!

Have a wonderful day!!

Adele Coco Roberts

Virtual Marketing Empire

“We help people make, save & manage money in their business online”

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If you received some value from this post please comment below!