First off, if you’re one of the last 5 people left on earth to not know what a hashtag is, here’s a quick 101. The #hashtag, is a word or phrase, that is used to link content together on the internet. In the vast web world, where content is uploaded by millions of bytes per minute, it’s pretty tough to keep track of all the conversations going on. If you think we’re being dramatic, consider that three years ago we were creating and uploading 2.5 quintillion bytes of data ….every day. We’ve more than doubled that amount since then. According to current counts, every minute, social networks like YouTube receive 48 hours of new content, 100,000 tweets are sent, 3,600 badly filtered pictures are shared on Instagram, Facebook users share over 70,000 pieces of melodramatic content and Google receives over 2 million search queries.
So yeah, there’s a lot of stuff out there. Hashtags, which are created by simply placing a pound or number sign (#) in front of a word or phrase with no spaces, create an automatic hyperlink, which when clicked, takes the viewer to all the content that has been shared, which contain or are related to that term. #Anyonecancreateahashtagoutofanywordorphrasetheychoose. These were originally unique to Twitter but have recently been universalized and are now used on virtually all social networks.
So who cares? Why should individuals and business places in St. Kitts be concerned with hashtags and indeed utilize them – and particularly, why should we all be popularizing #StKitts as a hashtag? Here are 5 reasons we think you should not only use this tag but incorporate it into your daily web speak:
1. It raises our visitor profile.
Many of our visitors are from North America and The UK who hashtag every spoonful of their morning cereal. Very likely, many will be searching and using St.Kitts as a hashtag when planning their trip or when recapping memories. Seeing a nice healthy bank of diverse information associated with the tag relating to accommodation, basic marketplace, entertainment etc gives them more confidence and heightens the excitement. It also says that the locals are tech savvy and well connected to current affairs, which is always a plus.
2. Increased popularity
It’s long been known that the popular kids in school tend to be the ones that share the most about their lives. We all remember the ‘it-crowds’ consisting of the resident mean girls, jocks and rich kids who wouldn’t shut up about all the great stuff their over-indulgent parents bought them last weekend. The same is true in the world of the web. The more you share, the more popular you tend to be. In the Caribbean, the most noticeable destinations won’t necessarily be the ones with the best to offer, but may just be the ones that talk more about what a great weekend they’ve had. This is certainly true if the content being shared is linked to other popular search terms like The Caribbean, Reggae, Calypso, Caribbean Food etc.
3. Online directory
This may be overstating it a little but hashtags do sort of function like online directories – just a little less formalized. For locals and foreigners alike, it helps to be able to find information about as many possible topics as possible with ease. And let’s face it, St. Kitts doesn’t quite measure up as far as directory information is concerned. The more people and businesses post content using a common hashtag, the more likely one is to find information about various topics. So a person wanting to find out what the local poetry scene is like, or the housewife trying to find a baby sitter is more likely to find their information if people posting about these terms all use common hashtags.
4. Boosts community dynamic
Social media in general is a great way for people to discover products, people, events and other information about shared interests. You’re much more likely to discover people who share your irrational obsession with cat photography if the feline photographers in your area are posting their content with common tags.
5. Great for marketing
It’s any marketer’s dream come true to have an audience that’s easy to monitor and is forthcoming with information about their interests. For local businessmen, an active online population would be much easier to track by paying attention to common tags or terms they all use. For example, companies like Scott or Charmin Ultra must gorge themselves on valuable content from the #ToiletTweets hashtag (yes it’s a real thing where people tweet from their toilets every morning). Consumers would also find this useful as they’d be able to share their thoughts and feelings about any experience or product, and find and communicate with others who do the same. This is great for customer reviews.
So we say do your part in making #StKitts one of the region’s most popular search terms by including it in as much of your content as possible and hashtagging the hell out of this little island!
Here are some other suggested tags:
And finally, here’s a cool video about what’s likely to happen to us all when hashtags take over the world…and we love it!