At AIDS.gov we have been excited to see how the use of hashtags has spread over the years into various social media platforms. What started with Twitter has expanded to other social media channels including Facebook, Instagram, Vine and others.
For those of you unfamiliar, hashtags are those few, carefully chosen characters after a pound sign (#) in a social media message that serve to connect the conversation. For example, by clicking on the #HIV tag in a tweet, you can see what others are saying and sharing about HIV related care, prevention, and treatment. Or, use #WAD2013 to follow the online conversation leading up to World AIDS Day (December 1).
Adding a hashtag to your tweet, caption, update, or comment, helps connect your message to the larger conversation. It makes social media social within and across platforms.
We’ve enhanced this year’s Facing AIDS initiative and the newly redesigned Facing AIDS site to focus on sharing and being social across new media spaces. Check out the site and you will see how the use of #FacingAIDS makes this initiative social.
Whether you are on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, pinning your sign on Pinterest, or adding your photo message on your Tumblr blog, add #FacingAIDS on your chosen platform to share with your community and beyond. Tag it so we can all be inspired by your Facing AIDS message.
Hashtags have the power to bring people together to speak out about topics of importance. On and around World AIDS Day, typing in just a few characters – #FacingAIDS – can build HIV awareness, help others understand the impact of HIV related stigma and encourage HIV testing. We hope you’ll join us in #FacingAIDS.