How To Really Use Twitter Hashtags

by Jessica Davis May 22nd, 2013 

Twitter users originally used hashtags to categorize and identify their tweets. It became so popular that Twitter decided to integrate it into their platform and improve upon it.

Hashtags are now used to categorize tweets, to help twitter users find tweets on certain topics, and to identify trending themes. They are also a great way to get your tweets noticed.

If you didn't know yet, a hashtag is a word or phrase that is written without any spaces and prefixed with a '#' symbol. Like so: #example

With hashtags used in almost every tweet how do you make sure your tweets stand out? Here are a few tips on using hashtags in your tweets to catch fellow tweeters attention.

Follow Basic Hashtag Etiquettes

Don't use more than two, maybe three, hashtags per tweet as it can make your tweet seem spammy.

It is understandable that you want your tweet to show up in as many search results as possible on Twitter but your tweet will have little value if you use up most of the 140 characters for hashtags.

Also, you need to use hashtags that are relevant to your tweet. There may be trending hashtags and you may want to use them badly in your tweet but you will end up annoying your followers and other Twitter users with unrelated tweets.

Use Hashtags That Are Obvious

Sometimes Twitter users end up abbreviating names and using them as hashtags but the abbreviation may not always be understandable. As a result, numerous tweets often get published on the same topic but the hashtags never trend as people end up using variations of the hashtag in their tweets.

Create and use hashtags that are easy to understand so that anyone else tweeting on the same topic can understand and use your hashtag easily.

To make your hashtags more comprehensible avoid writing the whole hashtag in lower case. Use upper case characters to give more sense to your hashtag. Example: #BigEvent

Find The Right Hashtags

Sometimes it is best to use an existing hashtag instead of creating your own hashtag and waiting for it to trend. Finding trending topics is a difficult task even for long-time Twitter users.

Twitter does display the most popular hashtags but how do you find the hashtags that are just beginning to trend?

Some of the most popular tools to identify trending hashtags:

 Twubs

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 What the Trend

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 Hashtags.org

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Track Hashtags

Tracking hashtags can help you find and choose which hashtag to use in your tweet.

Tracking a hashtag can give you an idea of how popular the hashtag will be and there are various tools that help track hashtags.

Real time tracking is offered by these tools:

Twitterfall

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Monitter

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Be Consistent

Hashtags are best used when promoting events, conferences, etc. Many events take place every month or year; using the same hashtag for every instance of the event is a great way to build a buzz around events. Take for example #SXSW, which represents South by Southwest Interactive, Film and Music Festival that takes place every year. The organizers use the same hashtag every year and it creates a lot of buzz almost instantly.

Use the hashtag that you have chosen for your event on other social media platforms too. Although hashtags may not mean much on every site it will help people identify your hashtag when they log into Twitter.

Remind followers about your event by using the hashtag frequently in your tweets.

Use Hashtags Offline

Hashtags are universally recognizable and smart companies are using them off the web too.

billboard-hashtag

Using hashtags in print advertising will make people want to get on Twitter and find the hashtag.

Some hashtags have even been painted on the pitch by sports teams so that even people watching the sporting event on their televisions will be aware of the hashtag.

Create Q&A Sessions

Hashtags are a great way for users to ask you questions and it is one of the easiest ways to build a buzz around your brand. Many celebrities and famous personalities have used hashtags to answer questions from fans and answering questions hardly takes any effort or time. Users can ask you questions by using the designated hashtag in their tweets and you can use the hashtag to find their questions.

Jessica Davis

Jessica Davis is a Senior Copywriter with Godot Media – a leading content writing services company. She works closely with other article writers at Godot, creating engaging content for the company's clients. Her other interests, besides content and social media marketing, are technology, sports and fashion.

Godot Media

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7 Responses to “How To Really Use Twitter Hashtags”

  1. Hi Jessica,

    Great article. Thanks for listing Hashtags.org as a resource. I also wanted to clarify that Hashtags.org offers an analytical service as well at http://analytics.hashtags.org. You can track hashtags, find prolific users (influencers), related hashtags (where you can expand your visibility) and more. Data is downloadable in multiple formats.

    Best regards,
    Michael

  2. Richa says:

    All I use twitter hash tags just according to the latest trends and yea, tweeting epic tweets will fetch you more people :)

    Thanks for the detailed post anyways :)

  3. Nice post. I have bookmarked it as I need to brush up on my #hashtag education. Being that Goolge+ incorporates hashtags and Facebook is moving that way we all need to use them appropriately. I like the idea of moving them offline to gain a following!

  4. Good suggestions, and the tools you mentioned I know, as I am the founder of RiteTag.
    I hope you will look at what we do and consider using it as well. In RiteTag, users paste a tweet, get hashtag suggestions in three ways (from "RiteTag AI," their saved Tag Sets (built from the Reports they order for hashtags on their topics), and from hashtags they used previously which got them retweets, favorites, follower-growth and/or clicks on links in tweets with the tag). They send or schedule the tweet, re-tag and schedule again to test the same tweet another time/day with other tags, and see the results in "Stats."
    Not wanting to link-spam your site, I'll leave out the URL, but suffice it say that you can find us and sign up to beta-test at the domain with what you'd expect to follow RiteTag.
    Let me know if I can help you get results for your agendas with our new baby.

  5. Karen says:

    Thank you for the simple tips on how to use hashtags! Sometimes we overlook or misuse hashtags because they're so easy to do… and I agree, too many hashtags appear really spammy.

    The different tools to identify trending hashtags are also really helpful- these will really come in handy when revising our Twitter strategy.

    I think it's most important to remain consistent with your hashtags and using them as a promotional tool just like South by Southwest Interactive, Film and Music Festival did. Too many times people create a new hashtag and then it just gets excessive.

    What would you suggest if you're trying to get your Twitter audience to catch on to your hashtag and start using them in their own tweets? It's one thing for us to be consistently using our own hashtags but I find it hard to get others to catch on to it as well.

  6. Thank you for this great article about Twitter marketing. Sometimes its really anoying to see how all these business use Twitter and hastags on the wrong way.

    I definitely recommend this article for those companies!

  7. May says:

    The right hashtags also can be used as keywords for your main business or tools for your branding!