Making a Difference

Gasbagging or Hashtagging?

To the social media novice, hashtags might seem confusing, annoying and pointless at first glance. But if you understand their purpose and learn how to use them properly, hashtags can be a powerful way to help you engage with new members and the community and increase Rotary awareness.

Hashtags are a word or phrase preceded by a hash mark (#) used within a message to identify a keyword or topic of interest. Basically it’s a way for social media users like you to tag your posts, which in turn makes them easier for social networks to organise and users to search. But we all know that, right?
I bet you’re asking how you can use them for #Rotary promotion?

Well one way to promote is to join the #MyRotaryMoment campaign that was started by the Rotary Club of Melbourne Park.

The campaign asks you to share your own Rotary story on your personal social media account by using the hashtag #MyRotaryMoment in the post.

Another example for Rotary is using #TorontoPronto to amplify the message and generate enthusiasm about the Rotary International Convention in Toronto in 2018. And the hashtags #EndPolio and #WorldPolioDay were used to build excitement about polio eradication on World Polio Day, October 24.

Using one or two hashtags per post makes your posts visible to anyone who shares your interest, be it #Community or even a #CharityBBQ. Whatever hashtag you like to use, it’s incredibly important for you and your club to start that conversation.

Here are some great #tips on how you can better use #hashtags.

• Don’t string too many words together with a single hashtag;
• If you tweet or Facebook post with a hashtag on a public account like your club Facebook page, anyone who does a search for that hashtag may find your tweet or post;
• Don’t #spam #with #hashtags – don’t over-tag a single tweet;
• Use hashtags only on tweets or posts relevant to the topic;
• Be creative and make your own #hashtag#RotaryVolunteer or #RotaryClubFundrasier for example.

Some of the most common #hashtags I use when I post about #RotaryInternational are: #Activism#Causes#Fundraising#SocialGood#Volunteer#Volunteerism, #Community, #RotaryAwareness. The tags #WeAreRotary and #ProudRotarian are also very popular when posting about Rotary.

But this all brings us back to the most important question: are hashtags here to stay? Seeing as how they’ve been integrated into most of the popular social media networks, and with social media entering almost every facet of our lives, then the answer is a resounding yes!

Rotary Down Under Magazine, Digital Directions: Evan Burrell

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