#Hashtag heaven and going viral on social media

The #icebucketchallenge is absolutely #brilliant.

Unless you live in somewhere without internet connection (like where?), you may not be aware of an internet phenom that has gone viral in the past week.
As a potential social media magician i want you to participate in this. Go to Google or Bing and search the following: "Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Tailor Swift, Justin Beiber, Lady Gaga" (and just about any other famous people you want to add on that you're a fan of) separated by commas.
The results? (Putting on my magician hat, placing my fingers against my forehead, and humming 1 sec) .... Poof! Voila! The top four results fall under the "Ice Bucket Challenge".
Magic? Well, if I were on Penn and Teller's "Fool Us" they just may be social media savvy enough to know that the magic behind my prediction was the power of using #hashtags in #socialmedia.
It should explain what all the fuss is about and help explain the power of using #hashtags. What is a #Hashtag?
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A hashtag is a word or an unspaced phrase prefixed with the number sign ("#"). It is a form of metadata tag.  Words in messages on microblogging and social networking services such as TwitterFacebookGoogle+VK or Instagram may be tagged by putting “#” before them (1) either as they appear in a sentence (e.g.  “New artists announced for #SXSW2014 Music Festival” (2) or appended to it.  The term “hashtag” can also refer to the hash symbol itself.  (3) Hashtags make it possible to group such messages, since one can search for the hashtag and get the set of messages that contain it.  A hashtag is only connected to a specific medium and can therefore not be linked and connected to pictures or messages from different platforms.

Because of its widespread use, the word was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in June 2014.
Unlike most talented magicians, I am going to share the secret how this got up so far in search rankings and became a phenom this past week: when a person/company/profile/celebrity tweets, shares on Facebook, uploads a video on You Tube, +s on Google Plus using the # sign in front of the word, it creates a Hashtag. Regardless of whether it is an event, a person, insight, quote, inspiration .... if it catches on .... i.e. is shared, retweeted, liked, +d ... it will begin trending.
Before I can say "Voila!" (being in a bilingual country Canada I respectfully include my fellow patriots) .... news media outlets on radio, television, newsprint, magazines, you name it have people (this is a suspicion that I cannot verify) have professional lurkers on social media to detect emerging trending topics to a new way of sharing news versus the old way on more cumbersome production requirements while still using that old blessed competition that is striven for: being the first to scoop a hot topic before anyone else.
The old way of getting our news is not just up to the minute, it is up to the second! No professional voice overs, trusted news anchors, esteemed journalists need apply. The use of hashtags alert ALL of the search engines to the trend and OUI (YES!) it appears on the first page -- regardless of whether it is competitors Google or Bing, etc. It is there! If you just try one social media platform (hint) try Twitter, then see what is trending (it will appear on your page when you log on). Or, if you think your Tweet is subjective to a specific audience, then use it for Tweets sake: #business #Linked In #social media #sales .... tag on a hashtag and click on that hashtag (which will appear in blue) -- POOFeroni -- you will magically appear on a page of others who are using the same hashtag. Talk about speed networking!

The terminology is different and dependent on the platform but means the same thing ... it just helps some folk portray themselves as social media wizards when they speak circles around you injecting terms you are not familiar with -- another pet peeve that falls under the same category as acronyms.  I prefer to become known as an educational informant.
Yes, even you or your organization can be a magician. Watch what is trending, sprinkle in the hashtag ... you'll find yourselves cropping up also higher on search page rankings, influence scores (i.e. Klout, KRED). Now, you're a cool kid again (whoopee)! For literal telecommunication translation: The number # sign is also referred to as the "pound key" on your keyboard or phone.  

Better yet - you will be communicating with the popular kids again. Your antiquated outdated methods can be flung aside. You don't have to referee between IT or marketing any longer - YOU are now in the the KNOW! You are the magician of your own destiny.
Note: Image source: (you guessed it) Google :o)

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