Do you know how to use Twitter hashtags properly in your social media marketing?
Do you know what a hashtag is and how to use it?
What if someone else is using the same hashtag about a totally different topic?
Even worse, what if your competitor is using the same hashtag about the same topic?
Before you just throw any word or phrase out there and decide to use it as your hashtag, there are a few things you’ll want to consider to get the best hashtagging results.
Check out this post and discover how to get the most out of Twitter hashtags and discover information about the best Twitter hashtag tools there are.
What is a Hashtag?
A hashtag is simply a keyword phrase, without spaces, with a pound sign (#) in front of it.
For example, #TwitterTips and #TwitterTools are both hashtags.
Here is Twitter’s definition of a Hashtag:
Official Definition: The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in Tweet. It was created organically by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages.
Create Your Own Hashtag
The form for doing this is exactly the same as for including an already existing hashtag. Simply type a phrase of the form “#topic.”
When you click “Tweet”, your new tweet will appear in your list of tweets, and the hashtag you created will appear in blue. Scroll over it and click on it to be redirected to the page for the hashtag.
If you have really created a brand new hashtag your tweet should be the only one on the page. Now, every time someone includes your hashtag in a tweet, it will be added to the stream for that hashtag.
Best Practices for Using Twitter Hashtags
After you decide on a keyword or a phrase, search for it.
Visit search.twitter.com and enter your preferred hashtag in the search box. Did you get any results?
Is someone else already using that hashtag for their event or campaign?
Check if The Hashtag You Want to Use is Active
If there is a lot of conversation around it already, you might want to revisit your decision and pick something that isn’t as frequently used.
In that way, you will reduce the chances of people who are not a part of your target audience entering/diluting the conversation you want to take place.
Pick Industry or Brand Keywords
Hashtags can also help communicate a message to those not actively searching for them.
For example, if someone you’re following is tweeting about an event using a hashtag, you will still be able to see their updates in your main Twitter feed without accessing the entire hashtag conversation.
In other words, you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of what they’re tweeting about and quickly connect the content of the tweet to the hashtag they’re using.
Look for Hashtags in Every day Life
Use of hashtags is a growing trend in advertising that can be highly entertaining, as anybody can—and will—piggyback on the marketing hashtag to say anything they want.
To use one, simply add the hashtag to your tweet, and you will be joined in the conversation.
Think about creating a company specific hashtag and putting it on your business card.
Twitter Hashtag Tools
Organize your hashtags and discover trending hashtags with this cool tool.
This simple but very cool app helps you determine the more popular of two Hashtags by battling them against each other.
Follow Hashtags. Discover Conversations.
This Hootsuite owned site helps to identify trends on Twitter.
Tagdef help you discover what hashtags mean, and add your own definitions in seconds.
Trendsmap is a very cool app that plots Hashtags on a map so you can easily identify what is trending near you.
Jimmy Fallon posts funny Hashtags every so often on his site and then announces the best tweets on his show.
Joining a Twitter Hashtag Chat
What is a Twitter Chat?
A Twitter chat is a public Twitter conversation around one unique hashtag.
This hashtag allows you to follow the discussion and participate in it.
Twitter chats are usually recurring and on specific topics to regularly connect people with these interests.
Twitter Chats for Social Media Marketers
#Mmchat - Marketing Monday Chat
#SMOchat - Social Media Optimization Chat
#Blogchat - Blog Chat
#MyBlogGuest - Blogging tips and advice chat held each Thursday at 11 a.m. EST.
#SocialChat - SocialParle hosts this chat Mondays at 9 p.m. EST
#SocialMedia - One of the largest discussions on social media through Twitter — hashtag #SocialMedia – is a weekly discussion on the business of SM. Every Tuesday at 12 p.m. EST you can learn a great deal, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned professional.
What is #FollowFriday?
The best way to do #FollowFriday is to recommend one person at a time, or recommend people in small groups.
If I do #FollowFriday I typically limit my recommendations to just one or two tweets.
The more people you recommend the less meaningful each recommendation is.
Start a Trend
If a hashtag is used by thousands and thousands of users simultaneously, it can become a trending topic.
Trending hashtags have the added benefit of appearing right in the Twitter Home page and are thus exposed to hundreds of millions of Twitter users!
Even if you are not able to start a trend yourself you can jump in on a trending topic and benefit from the added exposure that comes from tweeting in an active stream.
Keep it Short
Be sure to keep your hashtag short and easy to remember. Remember that Twitter users are only allotted 140 characters in each tweet, with or without a hashtag.
By keeping the hashtag brief, you’ll save your audience some room to include more commentary about your content.
What are some of the lessons you’ve learned from using Twitter hashtags?
Let us know in the comments below!