Thursday, January 16, 2014

Tags Vs Hashtags - What's the Difference?


Last week, in our Social Media BootCamp Break Down, a CraftStar seller brought up "tags."  Great!  It became clear that people were (quite rightly) confused by what are TAGS and what are HASHTAGS.

Each serve a different purpose and are INTEGRAL to your success as an e:commerce seller.

Here's The Social Media BootCamp Break Down so you can get more from the discussion:


When you're listing an item on The CraftStar, you want to create TAGS that describe your piece.  These TAGS will be used for internal searches on The CraftStar as well as being indexed for external searches through search engines.

TAGS while listing, should be used to identify key attributes to your item.  While "red" is considered a tag, how many people are searching the word "red"?  They're much more likely to be searching "red bracelet."  

Put yourself in a buyer's position.  How would they go about searching for what they want to purchase?  You would then use those sort of TAGS for your item. 

Here is an example of a recently listed item:

The ideal version of this would include:  women's gold engagement ring, solitaire ring for women, women's solitaire ring, platinum rings, metal rings for women, gold ring for women, unique rings for women, anniversary rings for women.  See where that's going?  Those are the sort of phrases people would enter into SEARCH on Google or Bing, etc.  Keep "ring" in there, but consider that an INTERNAL search for people searching for items on The CraftStar.  

Basically, you're approaching this in two ways:  what people may search for while ON The CraftStar, what people may search for while on a search engine.


Hashtags are easily recognizable when see the hash or pound sign (#) in front of any word, and are used in almost ALL social media platforms.  

The pound sign or hashtag is visually represented by the symbol ‘#’, and by placing the symbol in front of a word (or series of words) on a social network, it will turn that word into a metadata tag.  In simple English, the # symbol turns the word(s) immediately following it into a searchable term that can be used on that website or social network, which is activated by someone clicking on that hashtag.  (

Multiple words within #TheCraftStarLiveSales have been concertinaed together. If you don’t do this, only the first word of the phrase will be turned into a hashtag. 

You want to use hashtags on common keywords and phrases that you think people would be searching for.  For example, if you create a Tweet that says, “Just made some new rings out of copper wire!” - it would be best to add some relevant keywords like “#CopperWire #HandmadeJewelry #Handcrafted #Unique #Jewelry #Rings” plus anymore you can think of before Twitters character limit runs out. The reason for doing this is for your post to get seen by the people you want to see it!  The more hashtags the easier your post is to find.

Anyone can use a #hashtag on Facebook, Pinterest, Google Plus, Twitter, Instagram and any other social media website you could think of.  Users on these sites are building a catalog with whatever hashtag they choose.  So now anyone searching for the word #handmadejewelry will see thousands of pictures/articles/videos/posts about handmade jewelry - including YOURS!

Hashtags are obviously now here to stay, and it is advised that everyone who professionally uses Social Media should learn how to use them, and use them well.  Don't forget to include the HASHTAG #TheCraftStar on ALL items you promote on social media!

Interesting background on HASHTAGS:

Hashtags believed to have originated on Twitter but, interestingly enough, it is not a Twitter function. Some believe it began when the broken plane luckily landed in the Hudson River in early 2009, some Twitter user wrote a post and added #flight1549 to it. I have no idea who this person was, but somebody else would have read it and when he posted something about the incident, added #flight1549 to HIS tweet. For something like this, where tweets would have been flying fast and furiously, it wouldn't have taken long for this hash tag to go viral and suddenly thousands of people posting about it would have added it to their tweets as well. Then, if you wanted info on the situation, you could do a search on "#flight1549" and see everything that people had written about it.

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