Ways to Utilize the Power of Hashtags

#SocialMedia is an idea which stands too far from ground-breaking where concepts and notions have amalgamated to formulate a network for billions of users to interact. Nevertheless, it has been 7 years since Facebook began in 2009 and still people are confused on what triggered such a platform called social networking. Yet, the era of interaction and engagement began years earlier with the foundation of Twitter in 2006. This microblogging – social network combo introduced a completely inventive approach to exchange of information and user engagement which has been the fondest spot for users and marketers as well.

Transformation has been the key to building a strong and intelligent social network which encompass some back end interactive processes. Out of those numerous changes, #hashtag has been a tag to the trending whisper within the noise of the mass.

#Hashtags – How it Started
Symbol for Pound or tic-tac-toe, all resemble the (Shift + 3) sign on the computer keyboard. Yes! It is hash, commonly symbolized as #. Until the early use of hash by Internet Relay Chat (IRC) in 1988, the sign simply used to be an unimportant mark which was seldom used by computer users in denoting Pound or by the folks as they scribbled a piece of art to play Tic-Tac-Toe. But 1988 was the mark when IRC began using hash for categorizing messages, images and videos for users. Though this glinted the beginning of hash, it took time for users to implement in real time.
Until 2007 when Twitter started using hash for tagging important news and events, the symbol was completely out of focus for users except those who also used it as the short form of serial number. Though it was set so early in 2007, Twitter in 2009 formally announced the use of hash symbol before any word(s) to tag them as a token of information relevant to the microblog called tweet. Why?

Tweeting on a topic was generic and used to be a basic piece of information which needed some enhancement for filtering on the basis of category of information. Though it was much similar to IRC’s strategy, Twitter stepped ahead to narrow down the pipelines of information by allowing users to tweet and represent their topic by using hashtag. By 2010 almost all trending topics came under #hashtags and the time had changed when people understood the appropriate use of hashtags.

The Purpose of #Hashtags
As the era of social media glimmered, almost all social networking sites including Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Google+ adopted the use of hashtags in their engagement modules. The motive behind such an eccentric revolution where every user wanted to use # was to draw attention of users, organize the data and present an aid of promotional add-on for marketers.

As the idea broadened with numerous development of technology based on data analytics, social media engines identified the main purpose of hashtag and it was to drive engagement by letting users join conversations, notify people with content based on similar interests and help users filter content based on their interests for better knowledge.

This was just another aspect of how social media uncovered the real canopy of hashtags and was later directed to users for their own creativity and enlargement of possibilities.

How #Hashtags Help Businesses on Social Media
With every possibility taken in by marketers to grow businesses online, some keys exist which are creative and can be used for building brand engagement and influence the audience in turn. Out of those many keys, using hashtags has been on the top that help businesses engage their audience in the real time.

Harnessing hashtags, businesses can run awareness campaigns on social media, boost engaging information by specifying the category and build credibility online. Hashtags help businesses drive engagement between users holding similar interests and help finders reach the business more easily. Even some businesses in the past have tried starting unique conversations creating hashtags and the strategy has been very helpful in crowd-sourcing.

Some businesses like broadcasters, artists and organizational communities who look forward to interacting with their audience in the live format, make use of hashtags to engage end-users at relatively low cost which deliver higher levels of efficiency in engagement. Branding is also a good outlook as far as hashtags are concerned as businesses can create hashtags based on desired actions envisioned from users.

What Makes a Good #Hashtag?
If you are reading this, you are probably one of those popular social media participants whose friends undoubtedly wait to see updates. But if you are not, then you are all set to explode the social networking sites with your thoughtful content and some crispy hashtags.

Anyways, strategy has always been a part of anything we do online and so do some strategic strings follow the kites of hashtag. But what are those strategies that make my hashtag a popular one or get noticed by some industry leaders?

The best possible strategy on creating a hashtag idea is to source information from industry leaders and the ones which have already gained attention. For a local business, tagging the location is always a good strategy as the content shows up when a user tries going through the same funnel.
If you just came to know something that is going to be a news headline, usage of popular and trending keywords like news, headline and something relevant to the topic is always recommended. Using trending keywords relevant to the topic helps the content get noticed by a broader audience.

Similarly, hashtags for photography in Instagram can be based on the type of photograph published and some decent hashtag ideas are #landscapephotography, #photojournalism and something very much related to the kind of photo published.

Best hashtags for Twitter can be anything relevant to the topic. But anything just doesn’t mean #skhdjgdhcgbdcb. A short hashtag defining the information and helpful in drawing the attention of users are good ones. Basically, meaningful and appealing hashtags are considered efficient in Twitter.

Dos and Don’ts of #Hashtags
#ihadhamburgerscokeandicecream is certainly not an ideal hashtag as people won’t be searching for this. Rather repositioning the same concept returns an ideal hashtag and it can be #delicioushamburger.

So hashtags are not just about anything followed by a hash symbol, rather they need to be meaningful, contextual and relevant to the content, while being short.
Here are some Dos and Don’ts of using hashtags:

Do – Create hashtags without spaces and symbols between words. (#tastycoke)

Don’t – Use space or symbols between words followed by hash symbol. (#tasty_coke or #tasty coke)

Do – Craft tags relevant to the topic. (#beautifulinterior for describing the beauty of interior décor)

Don’t – Usage of hashtags that have no relevance with the topic. (#drivingfast for describing the beauty of interior décor)

Do – Making use of uppercase and lowercase alphabets at times of need representing sense in distinction between words. (#MusicLover)

Don’t – Using uppercase and lowercase without any need and specifically when it is out of logic. (#mUsIcLoVeR)

Do – Usage of correct spelling and short tags. (#newmobile)

Don’t – Creating extra-long hashtags with spelling errors (#iamplaesedtobuynewmobile)

Considering hashtags as keywords can be correct from the marketing perspective but when it comes to engaging users and building a loyal community, the focus should be on creative approach to building hashtag ideas. Resemblance of long hashtags with long tail keywords in search engine optimization is completely out of clarity and being very precise, yes, some users may catch your posts through those long hashtags but you will always remain out of the focus of the big mass.

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Content Curation: How Important is it in Your Content Strategy?

Getting fresh ideas for your blogs, e-books or social media posts can often seem challenging, as it is difficult to continuously come up with fresh and valuable content. The problem we often face is if you fail to differentiate yourself from the crowd, you might end up losing the interest of your audience.

An important and often confused digital marketing activity is content curation. According to the Curata’s Content Curation Adoption Survey — among 400 marketers — a majority of the marketers are utilising content curation for driving their content marketing strategy.

The question is why is it so useful for us to curate valuable content? Curation of content is helps to become a trusted referrer of valuable information. Curation helps us to extract the best available content. The process of finding, organising and sharing online content has become conventional and well-practiced by mainstream marketers. It is a regular feature on most of the social media platforms as well.

However, the art of content curation doesn’t achieve success on its own. Let’s explore content curation and what it has to offer and how to do it.

Why do we need content curation?
As content marketers, we specialise in creating great content, however, we should also consider some of the reasons why content curation is essential to boost content marketing. Let’s take you through the whole process.

Wide range of available content: When we curate articles, we gain access to a wide range of information about a particular subject. Sharing content in an ethical manner also helps us deliver reliable content.
Value addition: We get recognised for exploring the best available content. People appreciate the diverse perspectives that we share about their topics and interests.

Influencer marketing: Once we curate and share pieces of information from different publishers or writers, we also get recognised for the efforts. However, they will expect to get their due credit and a link back to the original article. Make sure that you enable such links and give credit where it’s due.

The best ways to curate content:
Now it’s time to reflect upon some key factors for curating content successfully. We might encounter numerous ways to curate content, influence our audience and streamline the process. Some of the best practices are listed below:

Know your audience: We should have a clear vision and be very particular about:

The kind of audience we are trying to build
The segment of customers we are trying to attract
The level of content sharing that we should engage in

Curate high quality content: As a curator, you take responsibility for sharing other content. You need to act as a funnel to the original source of the content. This stands as a primary factor in building the trust between you and your audience. The better quality of content you provide, the more clicks you are likely to get. Quality is something that can differentiate you as curator and promote further recommendations.

Be consistent: If you find success in curating content, then continue doing it on a regular basis. Your regularity and frequency can get you higher visibility. But ensure you make the right move. For instance, if your audience is the emerging start-ups, then there is no point focussing on big MNCs.

Promote yourself: Content curation is about generating trust in your field. Every company should be personalising their content on social media platforms. You can be that person. Just play your cards well.

How can it help?
Expands content sources: One of the best aspects about content curation is that it gives you a much wider exposure. We get to source content from multiple resources, websites, publishers, etc. It delivers the vision that we lack. Curation fills the breaches in our content offerings. It allows us to showcase our expertise in a specific domain or industry.

Upholds you as a thought leader: While curating content, we get to share all sorts of information. The way we choose the best among them, helps to position us as an industry expert.

Builds industry-wide connections: The practice of content curation helps us to connect with thought leaders, subject matter experts and other websites. This influences your popularity in the industry circle.

Saves resources: Curation is a comparatively less expensive form of sourcing content. However, we still might need some budget for editing and distribution support.

Diversifies our content distribution: The channel of content distribution also diversifies with curation.
Delivers more content: By gaining access to wider sources, we tend to provide much more detailed insight or data about our topics or products.

Builds your brand: Curation gives a new life to our brand. It can differentiate yourself from the crowd with a fresh appeal.

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Building Your Career Roadmap: Where You Are and Where You Want to Be
Career Roadmap: Where You Are and Where You Want to Be

As a working professional, it is always good to have a long-term vision in mind and keep moving towards the same to reach a bigger career goal. Whether you wish to run your own business in the future or take a top-level management job in a reputed MNC, your end goal can be the exciting effect that drives you ahead on the right path.

However, your career planning approach needs to be much more focussed and is subjective to multiple factors that can lead you to the ultimate goal. Once you decide on your long-term goals, you are likely to consider all relevant perspectives and align your personal wishes with the future career objectives. But, how do we really know if it is the right approach to reach our goals?

For instance, we often see numerous students, either dreaming of becoming a fashion designer or a travel show host, primarily due to the influence of the TV shows. They expect things to happen much faster and easily than they actually do. Thus, to get a more realistic grip on the right path to your career aspirations, it is imperative to outline the steps that could help you shape your career.

Identify your journey’s end point
You are unlikely to start charting a course, unless and until you know the destination. The first and foremost step in your career plan is to create a detailed vision statement comprising different positions or things that you wish to achieve at various points in the coming years.

While charting your career roadmap, you take complete ownership of all pros and cons. There are no bosses, mentors or career counsellors to guide you through this phase. Thus, it is essential that before you begin the journey, realise what success means to you. Take into consideration all aspects of your life – personal and professional. Identify the social stature or professional title that would make you feel truly successful. Have a clear vision as to where you want to be in the next five, ten or twenty years from now and then move forward.

Alternatively, if you are planning to make a career change, contemplate why you want to switch directions before you take an impulsive decision. Chances are either you are trying to achieve something or you are running away from something. If it’s the former scenario, go for it. Otherwise you might just need to change your company and not the present career track.

Emphasise on the skills you need
A wish list can be a great starting point for your career aspirations. This list might include the companies you want to work for or the titles that you want to have in your career. However, it is crucial that you align your wish list with relevant skills and expertise.

While framing your career roadmap, focus on the skills and expertise necessary to pursue your dream career. Though you have no control on the hiring strategy of a specific organisation, yet having an outstanding resume and acquiring the right skill set can position you as one of the top potential candidates.

Several employers believe that actions work better than strategies, titles or designations. Thus, concentrate on enhancing your abilities and capitalise your value propositions, be it in terms of:

Delivering creative projects and sound recommendations.
Showcasing great team work and bonding.
Exhibiting high social intelligence.
Articulating a strategy or solution for a critical situation.
Spearheading initiatives and building partnerships.

Identify an Appropriate Mentor.
Having a mentor can take your career to a new level altogether. Networking with people in the relevant field, particularly those holding the positions you desire, can boost your career planning efforts. They can guide you with their own insights and make sure that you follow the right path.

Thus, it is highly critical to identify couple of mentors and probe them about their academic and professional backgrounds. Asking a lot of open-ended questions might reveal a few untold stories as well. This is likely to help you explore the potential routes to your career destination.

Every job or role has its highs and lows. Leverage these informational conversations as an opportunity and ensure that you fully comprehend the rewards and risks associated with a particular role.

Alter the course, if required.
In your endeavour to frame the right career roadmap, you might face some deviations or may change your ultimate goal along the way. In any case, there is no hard and fast rule for you to follow the same course once you set sail. If you encounter any roadblocks along the way, be flexible enough to adjust and learn from the experience.

Several people dread the thought of making a wrong career choice. However, there is no need to be afraid even if you take a wrong turn. There are numerous instances when people choose an occupation and don’t find it interesting enough later. In such a scenario, all you need to do is to make a decision and implement it.

People who are likely to adapt to situations and open to learning new skills are the ones who achieve the desired results. That is the key to succeed in your career roadmap.

Conclusion
Having a definite career path will help you in gaining a broader skill base, making logical job transitions and getting better insight about your field of interest. Thus, you are likely to make decisions faster and become more satisfied in terms of your lifestyle, interest and financial goals.

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Shaw Academy Like This

Career Roadmap: Where You Are and Where You Want to Be

As a working professional, it is always good to have a long-term vision in mind and keep moving towards the same to reach a bigger career goal. Whether you wish to run your own business in the future or take a top-level management job in a reputed MNC, your end goal can be the exciting effect that drives you ahead on the right path.

However, your career planning approach needs to be much more focussed and is subjective to multiple factors that can lead you to the ultimate goal. Once you decide on your long-term goals, you are likely to consider all relevant perspectives and align your personal wishes with the future career objectives. But, how do we really know if it is the right approach to reach our goals?

For instance, we often see numerous students, either dreaming of becoming a fashion designer or a travel show host, primarily due to the influence of the TV shows. They expect things to happen much faster and easily than they actually do. Thus, to get a more realistic grip on the right path to your career aspirations, it is imperative to outline the steps that could help you shape your career.

Identify your journey’s end point
You are unlikely to start charting a course, unless and until you know the destination. The first and foremost step in your career plan is to create a detailed vision statement comprising different positions or things that you wish to achieve at various points in the coming years.

While charting your career roadmap, you take complete ownership of all pros and cons. There are no bosses, mentors or career counsellors to guide you through this phase. Thus, it is essential that before you begin the journey, realise what success means to you. Take into consideration all aspects of your life – personal and professional. Identify the social stature or professional title that would make you feel truly successful. Have a clear vision as to where you want to be in the next five, ten or twenty years from now and then move forward.

Alternatively, if you are planning to make a career change, contemplate why you want to switch directions before you take an impulsive decision. Chances are either you are trying to achieve something or you are running away from something. If it’s the former scenario, go for it. Otherwise you might just need to change your company and not the present career track.

Emphasise on the skills you need
A wish list can be a great starting point for your career aspirations. This list might include the companies you want to work for or the titles that you want to have in your career. However, it is crucial that you align your wish list with relevant skills and expertise.

While framing your career roadmap, focus on the skills and expertise necessary to pursue your dream career. Though you have no control on the hiring strategy of a specific organisation, yet having an outstanding resume and acquiring the right skill set can position you as one of the top potential candidates.

Several employers believe that actions work better than strategies, titles or designations. Thus, concentrate on enhancing your abilities and capitalise your value propositions, be it in terms of:

Delivering creative projects and sound recommendations.
Showcasing great team work and bonding.
Exhibiting high social intelligence.
Articulating a strategy or solution for a critical situation.
Spearheading initiatives and building partnerships.

Identify an Appropriate Mentor.
Having a mentor can take your career to a new level altogether. Networking with people in the relevant field, particularly those holding the positions you desire, can boost your career planning efforts. They can guide you with their own insights and make sure that you follow the right path.

Thus, it is highly critical to identify couple of mentors and probe them about their academic and professional backgrounds. Asking a lot of open-ended questions might reveal a few untold stories as well. This is likely to help you explore the potential routes to your career destination.

Every job or role has its highs and lows. Leverage these informational conversations as an opportunity and ensure that you fully comprehend the rewards and risks associated with a particular role.

Alter the course, if required.
In your endeavour to frame the right career roadmap, you might face some deviations or may change your ultimate goal along the way. In any case, there is no hard and fast rule for you to follow the same course once you set sail. If you encounter any roadblocks along the way, be flexible enough to adjust and learn from the experience.

Several people dread the thought of making a wrong career choice. However, there is no need to be afraid even if you take a wrong turn. There are numerous instances when people choose an occupation and don’t find it interesting enough later. In such a scenario, all you need to do is to make a decision and implement it.

People who are likely to adapt to situations and open to learning new skills are the ones who achieve the desired results. That is the key to succeed in your career roadmap.

Conclusion
Having a definite career path will help you in gaining a broader skill base, making logical job transitions and getting better insight about your field of interest. Thus, you are likely to make decisions faster and become more satisfied in terms of your lifestyle, interest and financial goals.

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