December 4, 2009

Using hashtags to enhance community

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John HaydonOn Tuesday I’ll be leading an online session for Philanthopy.com about building communities on Twitter (follow @Philanthropy for details).

Communities do not just happen. And they certainly don’t happen overnight. You have to have something important to talk about. And you have to be prepared to consistently connect people together over a period of months.

But Twitter seems like a big mess, doesn’t it? With thousands of tweets going off every hour, about hundreds of different topics, how do you build a cohesive group of fans?

The answer is hashtags.

Hashtags are a way to funnel specific discussions about a topic into a coherent thread, sort of like using Twitter to tune into specific radio frequencies. But not everyone knows how to create successful chat sessions.

In the screencast at top, I outline the basics of managing a hashtag chat on Twitter:

  • How to use TweetGrid (one tool among many valuable tools)
  • How to create a hashtag
  • How to avoid missing replies to you within a chat
  • How to find and invite others to your chat
  • The importance of a landing page for your chat

Kudos to @ShareStrength for their excellent example!

How have you used hashtags successfully?

Photo by kbaird on Flickr.

Reposted from JohnHaydon.com.John Haydon delivers social web strategy solutions for “the quick, the smart, and the slightly manic.” Curious? Then connect up: Contact John by email, see his profile page, visit the John Haydon blog, follow him on Twitter and Google Plus or leave a comment.

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