The History of the Hashtag and How to Use it Properly

Hashtags are everywhere on Twitter. The # symbol inserted before a word or phrase is used to categorise messages and mark groups or events. Facebook now its own hashtags and TV programmes even flash them up on screen as they start so viewers can talk about the programme on social media.

Using a hashtag is second-nature on Twitter today. A quick glance down my own Twitter feed this morning reveals fifteen different hashtags by various people and companies each wanting to highlight their own issue or what products and services they’re offering. Some accounts have multiple hashtags in use. Not bad when you’ve only got 140-characters to use!

The hashtag was “invented” in 2007 by Chris Messina, a designer working at Google who played a big part in the marketing of Firefox, when he sent this tweet: “how do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]?” Since then, sending tweets like this has become commonplace. Journalists and news agencies started using them to report on events and emergencies to create a feed. Real-time reports are now a valued news-source and has been adapted for sporting events and music concerts to keep people informed.

It’s worth saying that there a few rules to observe when using hashtags though, so you don’t look like a spammer or turn people off your feed.

Firstly, don’t use more than two hashtags per post. Any more appears spammy.

Keep your hashtags short. The whole point of Twitter is instant, succinct messages so don’t let your hashtags take up too many letters or characters. Facebook, of course, has no limit to its message length but the principle is still the same. Long hashtags will just annoy people.

Give your tag a meaning. You can search or simply type in the hashtag you want to use in to the Twitter search bar to see what it means and how people use it.

Spaces in hashtags are a no no. They should be one continuous phrase as gaps will break the link.

So, now you know the history of the hashtag and how to use them properly, make sure you use the #chestertweets regularly. It’s the most useful hashtag on the internet


Sir David Attenborough Sues over Fake Social Media Accounts

Legendary wildlife documentary broadcaster Sir David Attenborough is suing the owners of several Facebook and Twitter accounts claiming to be him. The TV presenter insists the accounts do not belong to him and has been forced to take legal action to get them shut down.

Some of the sites are of an obscene nature and have been posting rude messages pertaining to be from Sir David, despite him publicly stating he does not use social media. He is particularly dismayed that one account has been sending lewd messages to people and has instructed his lawyers to force the sites to shut down to protect his reputation.

Sir David is not the only celebrity to fall victim to false social media accounts. Actor Ewan McGregor had an account set up in his name that attracted over 20,000 followers and posted daily accounts of his eating habits and what films he was involved in shooting before being closed down. Barak Obama, HRH the Queen and many well-known companies have had fake accounts set up in their name. A lot are obvious spoofs and can be quite amusing. Others, like Sir David Attenborough’s, are more malicious and designed to cause harm.

You can tell if accounts are genuine on Twitter now as they will have a blue tick attached to them on the owner’s profile. This signals the account has been verified by Twitter. Accounts that are linked to official websites and are involved in proper engagement with its followers are more likely to be verified by Twitter and considered genuine. The blue tick system was set up to protect celebrities and well-known brands as these experienced lots of imitators but anyone can now ask Twitter to verify their account.

If you want to engage with a business or individual on social media, make sure it’s the genuine party you’re dealing with. Twitter and Facebook can present great opportunities for business if it’s done properly. The first step is to follow the right account and not get caught out by imitators.



#chestertweets website launches

So, #chestertweets has finally launched. Our website’s live and going great guns, and we’re building a brilliant community of people who’ve signed up to it. And our Facebook page and Twitter feed are generating more followers and fans every day, who use us to find the best businesses in Chester and create a buzz about the city.

We’re using this blog to tell you a bit more about the people behind the business. #chestertweets is Steve Jones of Steve Jones Social Media and Nick Pagan of Nick Pagan Copywriting, and we’ve come together under the #chestertweets name to offer businesses social media and content marketing help, and let the people of Chester find the city’s best businesses in one handy place.

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#chestertweets is here


#chestertweets is all about promoting the best businesses in Chester through social media. We do that by getting the people of the city to recommend and find businesses they know will provide a great service. Special offers, local events and local news stories can be found on there too, with many of them exclusive to #chestertweets.

Everything’s driven by our simple #chestertweets hashtag on Twitter. Adding this to a tweet means it reaches a wider community and audience who all want to know about your business. It also means your business is part of the best business directory in Chester. They’re not our words; it’s the best because the people of Chester tell us it is. And they’re the people that matter.

Our mission is to keep Chester social. You can help us do that by becoming part of Chester’s most social network. You’ll get a professionally written business feature, social media promotion and help, marketing and PR advice and a dedicated team working to get your business seen as one of the best in Chester.


Nick Pagan Copywriter

Nick Pagan Copywriting is an independent copywriting agency that can help businesses communicate better. From fully search engine optimised website copy to perfectly pitched press releases and everything in between, Nick Pagan Copywriting can find the right words to showcase any business. As well as large one-off projects, it can provide businesses with ongoing copywriting support and write blogs, newsletters and articles on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Nick Pagan Copywriting has written copy for many types of businesses in every kind of industry and, by getting to know its customers, delivers the right message every time.

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