When Twitter came into the social media scene, users quickly adopted hashtags as a way to group Twitter messages based on a particular subject or topic. But the question is, how can we use hashtags for education purposes? The first thing you need to do is create a hashtag identifying your subject, project, workshop, or any other event you want to track to engage with your students.
We recommend searching hashtag directory services like tagdef.com, twubs.com, and hashtags.org to see if somebody is using the one you want. This is crucial because you do not want to start using a hashtag or host a Twitter Chat only to find out somebody halfway across the world has already been using it for months. Twitter does not have any rules about hashtag ownership, but as a matter of netiquette, it is prudent to first check. You could be reported for spam, or worst blocked due to using someone else’s hashtag. Let’s dive into this topic and learn in-depth how hashtags can be used to promote your educational content.
Why are Hashtags Important?
Hashtags are easy to use. It helps users find posts about specific content, but they also help in reaching more people who are interested in your content. Compose hashtags that fit your industry by using common industry-related terms. Hashtags are the simplest way to organize the endless amount of information posted to social media so that you’re only seeing what you find relevant. Less is more when it comes to hashtags. Keep their use to three or fewer per tweet when you can, and when you find one that works, keep using it.
Hashtags simplify the process. Searching a hashtag pulls results for each post using that hashtag. Using a hashtag helps you reach your target audience, and likewise makes it easier for them to find your profile. They compel an action. When a user sees a post of interest, they will likely spend time looking through content brought up by the hashtag. Hashtags are being used by more and more platforms, impacting the amount of information put directly in front of social media users. They also make finding information easier for social media users. Now that we’ve learned the significance of hashtags, let’s find out how they can be used for education purposes.
Ways to Use Twitter Hashtags to Promote Education
Twitter allows you to tweet only at 140 characters in length. This length equals the text of a regular SMS, and for some, this is not enough. However, Twitter proves to be an extremely helpful educational tool. By using Twitter in education, you can post only a few short sentences, but that is exactly enough to transmit the essence of your message.
Leading such busy lives, people do not have the time or the mood to read long walls of text. They prefer to capture only the essence, and using Twitter in education helps you with that. This social media portal is widely used among academia all over the world. Students, journalists, actors, politicians, important leaders, sportspeople, and many others. The tips listed below are the ways how to use hashtags for educational content.
Create a Unique Hashtag for Your Education
With many possible hashtags to use, use a relevant keyword and use it for your educational hashtag. Then ask all students and teachers to join, and this will be your little virtual online classroom. Hashtags are used to find groups of interest and then connect with them, so make sure you give away your hashtag only to those you want to join the respective group. There are two types of hashtags, unique and general.
- Unique hashtags are created for a specific purpose.
- A general hashtag like a business can refer to just about anything, business-related a hashtag like #shareacoke is much more specific.
Having a unique hashtag establishes credibility and helps set you up as an authority on a specific subject, especially if most of a hashtag’s content points back to your social media page. You become the leader instead of a follower, social media users love engaging with original, creative content. If you are setting the hashtag trends, users will be more likely to share your content on their feed or with other friends.
An example, @TCEA on Twitter shared 10 easy-to-use math websites and used hashtags like #mathchat and #teachertwitter to identify their post as an educational one.
Use Hashtags to Aggregate Discussion on Content
Using hashtags can help you reach the audience and grow. The targeted audience (which is your students in this case) is drawn towards the topic that you want them to pay attention to. Hashtags aggregate all social media content with that same hashtag. They also make it easier to discover posts for the viewer.
Hashtags were used by Twitter to create groups. It can help companies and businesses get found. It activates competition, visibility, branding, promotion, activism, and localization on a global scale. For example, @educateruk tweeted about their content using the hashtag #webinar to engage with more students.
Use Hashtags For Meetings
Hashtags are a great way to build brand awareness for your conference or event, and by publicizing and promoting you may also encourage and remind people to tweet. It also allows people to meet others who are at the conference or follow event updates. There isn’t a hashtag registry, and permission isn’t required to start using one.
Take the tweet shared below as an example, @gringreenintl shared this tweet to encourage more students to join their meetings for their eco-friendly projects.
You can choose a hashtag and publicize it. The key is to make sure that before and during the conference people know what the hashtag is. Include it in all communications and on the cover of your show-book if you have one.
Use Hashtags For Student Collaboration
For effective communication, users need to agree on a classroom-shared hashtag that can be used by all students. They can be accompanied by other hashtags as well, to further narrow down the subject, but a tag such as #UNREnglish101Hall for an English 101 class taught by Dr. Hall at the University of Nevada-Reno, for example, will enable anyone who clicks on it to see all posts tagged with it. This facilitates connection and discussion between students even when they are not in the classroom.
Students can chat with each other in real-time, send out status reports, and more. If the project is ongoing or big in scope, students can set up Twitter accounts specifically for the project and use protected tweets. Protected tweets can only be seen by approved followers and can not be retweeted. Search for any topic that you are highly interested in, and join other great groups available on Twitter. Make new friends, express your opinion on an academic matter, and ask your fellow students or teachers to join. You will form one huge and powerful army of experts and debaters on topics that are of high interest to you.
Use Hashtags for Changes in the Program
If there is any change your students should know about, you can use Twitter to inform them. For example, if the class will be held in another classroom or if the class will be skipped the next day. Students receive instant notifications, and they can share with fellow students. If there is any last-minute change regarding the school program, just send out a short tweet.
Twitter allows you to sync with WordPress blogs, and all updates are received through Twitter. In this way, everyone can tune in and check fresh updates without visiting separate platforms. Teachers can review updates from students by clicking on the link, while students can follow the posts.
To Promote a New Contest
Prepare students for their next class by writing an essay, or solving a tough math problem. Give them incentives and motivate them to enter a contest. Students love to interact through social media, and you will get a great number of participants in your school-related contest.
Network Through Hashtags Chats
Search for any topic that you are highly interested in, and join other great groups available on Twitter. Make new friends, express your opinion on an academic matter, and ask your fellow students or teachers to join. You will form one huge and powerful army of experts and debaters on topics that are of high interest to you. Help your fellow students get a better understanding of a tough topic in class. If you found an interesting article, a website, or even someone worth following on Twitter, share it with other students. The same goes for teachers, who should share educational materials and links with students using Twitter as the main platform.
Twitter is a microblogging portal that proves extremely useful across academic applications. We hope these tips help widen the reach of your educational content. Let us know below the comment section for other ways you have explored the use of hashtags on Twitter. We’d love to hear from you.