Like most people, I’ll try anything once. Talking with Chris, the storyreading ape a few days back, he enthused as only he can, (bless his heart) when I asked him about why he uses hashtags on so many of his blog posts. So, following his advice I decided to try it for myself. According to him they are totally necessary when your blog posts appear on sites like Twitter, Google+ and Linkedin, to induce people to read them – and here was me thinking it was the post’s title and content.
Well, I have used them twice now. Not just in conjunction with the three aforementioned sites, but also on Facebook, Pinterest and Stumbleupon. In each case I saw no appreciable increase in views. In fact they remained exactly the same as always.
So why do people bother with the hashtag symbol for number (#), using it in a way that was never intended in the first place? If the whole idea is to make your posts known to a wider audience, by adding hashtags in front of key words, why is it that they simply don’t appear to do the job?
There is a lot of advice on how to use them, such as this from Twitter. Despite following their advice as well as from Chris, nothing happened, advantageous or otherwise.
One thing I did note in Twitter’s case, they quite clearly state in their extremely helpful ‘how to’ page that the hashtag comes into its own when used with tweets that are trending, such as breaking news items, or those featuring the latest antics of a celebrity, airhead, moron – idiot. If that’s the case what chance do ninety-nine point nine percent of most bloggers have with getting their posts noticed by using hashtags?
The phrase – not a cat in hell’s chance, immediately springs to mind.
Like I said in the beginning, I’ll try anything once. Will I continue using the humble hashtag in this particular way? I don’t think so. I’ll just use it as it was originally intended, to indicate a number. Perhaps when someone scientifically proves that using it increases views for posts in the way Chris and some others believe, I may reconsider. But until then, as far as I’m concerned, the jury is still out. In the meantime I’ll go back to relying on the hashtag free content of my blog posts to sell themselves on their own merits to everyone out there in internet land.
Sorry #Chris. I did give it a try – #honest I did.