If you’re a RTI INDIA 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 both at RTI INDIA as well as on other social media like twitter, facebook, Instagram e.t.c., and it’s important to know how to use them. Plus, they can be a lot of fun.
On RTI INDIA, 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 Second Appeal you would include #secondappeal in your post to join the conversation. Click on a hashtag to see all the posts that mention the subject in real time.
Historically, the Hash tag were used by twitter who did not find it of any use, but later the practice of hashtagging took off; now users and brands employ hashtags to cover serious political events (#Election2014 and entertainment topics (#AmitabhBacchan) alike.
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 (#secondappeal ). Uppercase letters will not alter your search results, so searching for #secondappeal will yield the same results as #secondappeal .
Numbers are supported, so while you are posting the content about #30DaysRTI , it is perfectly fine. 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 RTI INDIA username will post for him directly, letting him know you have written to him via the @ Connect tab. A hashtag will not. Sometimes users will hashtag a RTI INDIA popular name like #Karira instead of using his RTI INDIA username handle — it is acceptable to tweet #Karira or @karira. 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.
Here is how you can subscribe to any HashTag. Just click on any Hashtag like #NewFeatures and you shall be presented with the discussions on the specific hashtag like the picture below:
Once you have subscribed to the Hashtag, you can go to the drop down list on the top to click on Hash Tag Subscription. See the screenshot below:
Once you click on the Hash Tag Subscription, you shall see all the discussions and posts happening on your subscribed HashTags. See the screenshot below:
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 posts. Be sure to include the hashtag in any materials like your FB/Twitter or other places and ask your friends to come to rtiindia.org to join your conversation. Make it informative but short — for example, RTI INDIA uses #NewFeatures to talk about new features at our website.
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 Passport Delays, use #Passport Delays instead of simply #Passport .
Keep it simple: Hashtags, like links, look like spam if they are used too often. Three hashtags should be the maximum on any RTI INDIA post. And don’t hashtag the same word twice (“I want to find out about #MobileNumber of a person whose #MobileNumber I am getting”). It’s #redundant to use extra HashTags.
Give context: A post that contains only hashtags is not only confusing — it's boring. If your post simply reads, “#happy,” your friends will have no idea what you’re talking about.
Happy Hashtagging to all