How to hashtag: a guide
With the creation of this new board, I figured we need a guide for lurkers and people before everyone starts sharing all of their contact information and this board becomes a magnet for identity thieves.
Below are some good tips and pro's and con's of hashtags. Add on yours.
At the end of the day, know yourself and know your crowd. You don't need to have a hashtag; not everybody does it and it doesn't have to be your thing. If you're somebody who doesn't normally use social media or who does but doesn't use hashtags, it will feel off to your guests and to you.
Creating your hashtag:
1. Keep it simple: the simpler the hashtag, the more likely people are to use it.
2. Keep in mind common spelling errors: if your name is Kimmi with an I (wink, wink) chances are you're called Kim, Kimmi, Kimmie, or Kimmy. If people spell your name wrong everyday, a hashtag won't fix that.
3. Keep it short: SmithMcKessonWeddingTableof2June2016 isn't going to be used and if it is, it will be screwed up royally.
4. Capitalize the first word to make it easier to use when you share it with friends and family.
5. Adding the year at the end can go a long way when personalizing it.
6. Create a list of your top 3-5 and then search Instagram using them to see how common they are. This can help you narrow it down and make it easier for you to save them later on.
7. Creating a hashtag doesn't give you carte blanche to start talking about your wedding on the interwebs. If you start telling everyone about your hashtag, everyone will think they're invited. Share it and use it at wedding events, not every grocery, shopping, lunch or night out with your FI or BP.
Pros of hashtags
1. They give you a quick and simple way to search and gather photos from your wedding night and pre wedding events.
2. Filters, unless your friends like to make themselves look orange or are obsessed with the snapchat dog face.
3. It's a great way to collect photos of your guests that you or your photographer may have missed.
4. They're fun!
Cons of hashtags:
1. Not everyone Instagrams. You risk alienating Aunt Connie when she doesn't understand why all the cutsie chalkboard signs start with a pound.
2. The filters, while they're great short term, it also means some of the photos you liked best may not be available in their pre-edited form.
3. They're difficult to print because they're smaller than the standard photo and have to be downloaded individually.
4. Your friends and family may not keep all of the original photos, especially if they're the type to only upload their faves and delete the rest, so you'll be left with the best of the guest photos, and that's pretty subjective.
5. They're public and you have no ownership over them once they're posted.
Edited to Add:
Internet Safety Guides and Reminders:
1. The Knot is a public forum and anyone, logged in or not, can read the boards. When you ask for help with your hashtag, remember that simply sharing your full name makes you searchable and all of your information is now vulnerable.
2. A hashtag is just a word or phrase used to easily tag and locate posts/photos from the same topic. You can cannot control the privacy of your tags, or who uses and views them so be mindful when choosing your hashtag.
3. Be mindful of where you share your hashtag too. Someone who searches for your hashtag will find everything linked to it and all of the information posted there.
For example, if you share it on your wedding webpage and your webpage has a link to your registry that includes what city and state you are in, you have made it quite easy for a stranger to find your home. Or the hashtag includes a photo of you and your Grandma Ethel with the caption "So happy Gram traveled here from Arizona, I'll be sad to say good bye before we go on our honeymoon to Jamaica tomorrow." Guess who might just get a call from someone pretending to be you stranded in Jamaica until she gets enough money for a flight home? That's right, your sweet, unsuspecting Grandma.
3. Check yourself before you wreck yourself and password protect your business. Don't let your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, Reddit, Wedding Webpage, Personal Blog etc be so easily accessible or linkable to your more personal accounts and information.
4. If you plan on using your hashtag for your honeymoon photos too, wait until you're home to upload them or if you upload them immediately, add the hashtag after you get home. I change my privacy settings when I'm out of town so only the people who know I'm travelling can see my posts until after I'm home.