[updated "Jan. 30, 2015"] Using Twitter for professional purposes has become common since the introduction of hashtags. Thanks to these modern marvels, it is easier than ever to draw traffic, catch the attention of a target audience, follow trends, participate in Twitter chats and manage reputation. For many bloggers, online business owners and marketing experts, it is becoming second nature.

The easiest way to utilize Twitter to its greatest potential is through monitoring hashtags – which means getting a full summery of data that explains how they are being used. This is such a big part of applying Twitter as a professional tool today that endless programs have been created to help you do it.

Whether it is seeing the analytics of a hashtag, or just finding out which ones are used most often, these ten tools will help you do it.

1. Twazzup

Twazzup

The real-time nature of Twitter makes it a great option for finding updates o trending news topics. Twazzup allows you to put in a hashtag, and it will show you tweets going on right now that contain it. They also show highlights from around the web, news stories from different sites and the community influencers who are helping the hashtag trend. Below that you will find related keywords and hashtags, and accounts where the story has been posted.

2. Tweetchat

Tweetchat

This one is a perfect minimal tool for participating in Twitter chats. Just log in, put the hashtag in you wish to follow, and it will create a chatroom interface where you can speak to others on the hashtag in real time. This has become a big hit with bloggers, who host tweetups or tweetchats with readers. But it also gives you an idea of what people are saying at the exact moment, with constant updates.

3. Hootsuite

Hootsuite

The most popular social media dashboard around, Hootsuite offers Twapper Keeper as one of their on-board features. It creates a searchable archive with any username, hashtag or keyword. This is then built into the overall analytics data that the social media dashboard is known for. As an added benefit, it is also compatible with Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Myspace, FourSquare, Mixi, WordPress and various apps.

4. Tweetdeck

Tweetdeck

Follow hashtags, get data on keyword use, monitor accounts, follow users and organize your Twitter with this social media dashboard. Not compatible with different social networks, it is less popular with those who use multiple media sites. However, it s a big hit with Twitter specific users looking for a good data generator. You can also schedule tweets, get alerts on hashtags and filter data.

5. What The Trend?

What The Trend?

Originally called 'What The Hashtag?', this is a dictionary of live-updating information on trending hashtags. Users add the trending keyword, and then people from all over the world weigh in on why it has become popular or had an impact on the web. It is easy to search for trends and establish which will be trending for a longer period, and which are flashes in the pan. The best feature is probably the Reports section. It shows you the top Twitter trends, how they ranked, when they first appeared and how long they lasted over the past 30 days.

6. Hashtracking

Hashtracking

Get a free report on any Twitter hashtag, or use their extended services. This website tracks different hashtags to find out what is trending, and what power each one has. You will find full analytics, impressions and reach and customized information done on your behalf. However, right now it is in closed beta. To get on their user list, you have to email their administrator.

7. Twitterfall

Twitterfall

With a link expander, Twitlonger and Qrait support, trend information, hashtag search and monitoring and a unique interface that causes new tweets to "fall" onto the page, this is a great service. If you want more specific information on a user, just hover over the username and it will be provided. Otherwise, you get a quick look at what is going on with any given hashtag or keyword.

8. Archivist

Archivist

For visual learners that want graphics with their data, there is the Archivist. It is an archive that can be searched for information on a specific hashtag or keyword. Then you have it made into a pie chart, bar graph or any other graphic you would prefer. Keep in mind that their access to data is limited. Recent information is provided, but they don't have data running all the way back. It is not a fully historic collection on info on the term. According to them, there should be an archive of, at most, the last 500 tweets.

Do you have a service you use to summarize Twitter hashtags? Let us know in the comments!