By now, many of you are finally starting to come around to the Google+ phenomenon, as evidenced by the number of active users in 2013 soaring to 540 million by October. So it should come as no surprise that the hashtags we all know and love are now being used on Google+ to make it easier to search and filter by topics and keywords.
If you’re a social media marketer, this may not seem like huge news. (Who doesn’t already use hashtags?) Still, there are a few things that, as a social media expert, you should know about the Internet’s favorite new search tool.
What are Hashtags?
Hashtags help users easily filter searches on topics or words to locate content of interest. Whether you’re searching for funny pictures or a particular brand online, there’s no doubt that hashtags have proved to be one of the most effective ways of searching for and filtering content on social media newsfeeds. As a growing social media network, Google+ is finally incorporating hashtag usage into its platform, so you can find the posts you’re really interested in without having to spend ages scrolling through unwanted information.
How Do They Work?
Hashtags consist of a word or phrase with a hashtag symbol (#) in front and a space or tab following. You can create absolutely any hashtag that you want, although the more common the term or phrase, the more likely it is that you’ll find posts dealing with similar topics as yours. Also, you cannot use special characters or spaces within your hashtag or it won’t work. How do you know you’ve created a hashtag? A bluish-gray box will highlight the hashtag once you’re finished creating it.
Here’s how it actually works, though: When you go to the search box on Google+, type in the hashtag you’re looking for; if there are any results, they will show in your news feed. You can also save searches and choose specific search parameters for your hashtags within Google+ by filtering those results. This new hashtag addition to Google+ hits its marks when it comes to effective and efficient browsing within the Google+ circles.
Hashtags & Google+
Google+ may be relatively new in implementing these exciting changes, but that doesn’t mean it can’t evolve with the times. That is why Google decided to allow hashtags to be used in the comments section. Looking for that hilarious comment made by your best friend? How about that insightful observation you read on one of your posts but forgot about? Hashtags are like little memory morsels, helping you recall, read and share with your followers and friends those posts that were really impactful. As you can see, then, it should be no surprise at all that brands have already started using hashtags and will continue to do so in the future.