A recent Google survey found that roughly 25% of boomers thought it was a good idea for proper hashtag usage to be taught in schools. Interestingly, nearly 70% of respondents between the ages of 18 and 24 had the opposite response.
Marisa Murgatroyd, founder of Live Your Message and sponsor of the survey, has attributed these results to boomers’ limited knowledge of hashtags and what they mean.
Boomers aged 55+ were the least likely of the surveyed age groups to be able to correctly identify a hashtag.
The survey also uncovered a lack of understanding among other audience segments, such as those living in rural areas or individuals who make less than $75,000 per year.
According to Murgatroyd, it behooves companies to recognize the lack of knowledge among these audience segments and educate them about the usage of hashtags.
"The message is clear. For companies who market to rural consumers, consumers who earn less than $75,000 per year, or Baby Boomers – it's not safe to assume your market understands what a hashtag means. And when you confuse your market, you also risk alienating your customer base."
A hashtag is a tagging method used by people on Facebook and Twitter to organize their posts according to categories. By adding a pound symbol (#) and a category name, such as #winter, to your post, you are adding your post to those that other people have also identified as being about winter. This post will then be accessible to people who search the hashtag #winter in the future.
Speak up: Do you understand or use hashtags? Do you think hashtag usage belongs in school curricula?