Twitter For Business Guides (Hashtags)
How Hashtags Work
Twitter hashtags are one of the strongest reasons this social media network has done so well. Let’s take a look at how we can make the most of them.
Step 1. What is a Hashtag and How do I Create One?
A hashtag is a keyword preceded by the “#” symbol. When inserted into a Twitter post, it helps people quickly find all posts also containing that particular hashtag. You can use capital letters within a hashtag to make them easier to remember (e.g. “#AllJobs” or “#alljobs”), but you cannot use spaces or all numerals. Hashtags can go in the beginning, middle or end of your tweet.
What hashtags do is allow people to search more easily for tweets on specific topics. When you search for a hashtag, every post containing that hashtag will be displayed in your feed area.
You can also create your own hashtag, but before you do, it’s a good idea to see if there is one that already exists – not just the exact hashtag you have in mind, but also similar hashtags already trending that might serve your purpose better.
There are two ways to quickly find hashtags out of thin air:
- Enter a hashtag in Twitter’s own search box
- Look for it on dedicated hashtag sites like Hashtags.org
Be warned, however: If you use Twitter’s own search box to search for specific hashtags, a very nasty trend has developed all on its own recently. People have been maneouvering extremely explicit pornographic photos into the “Top Photos” for such long-standard hashtags as “#FF” or “FollowFriday”.
How to find keywords at Hashtags.org:
This site is one of the best places to find hashtags – and not just find them, but see how well they are performing too.
- 1. Go to Hashtags.org
- 2. Click on the “How to” tab in the top horizontal menu and read up on the “Quick Start Guide to Hashtags”.
This wonderful resource won’t just tell you about Twitter hashtags, but give you information on other social platforms that have begun to use them. It will also tell you about other Twitter facts.
Step 2. How to Follow Trends
Follow trends and use their hashtags in your tweets. Trends may not often provide much value, since they are not driven by your keywords and contacts – but they do provide two things you can use:
- You can get a feel for Twitter culture by seeing what is going viral
- You can make use of highly viral, “seasonal” tweets to grab some visibility and exposure for your profile.
Even within tightly-focused niches, most people still celebrate holidays, seasons and seasonal landmarks. Remember that, and use it to your advantage.
(You can find trending hashtags on Twitter in your left-hand, vertical menu, as well as in Twitter-serving sites such as Hashtags.org.)
Step 3. How to use Hashtags Correctly
It’s easy to use hashtags correctly: What is a little trickier is using them effectively.
Once you’ve got past the basics of what not to do (use spaces or all numerals), you need to create hashtags that are catchy, memorable and easy to use.
The same goes for pre-existing hashtags created by others. Don’t grab the first hashtag you see for a topic or event: Check to see if there are better-trending versions.
Step 4. Making, Finding and Managing Hashtags
Don’t just search for hashtags in your Home feed search bar: Go to Twitter’s dedicated search and enter your keywords there.
Click on the “advanced search” anchor text, if you want to add specific search parameters.
Hashtag.org also quotes Twitter on what not to do, when creating hashtags:
It also tells the cautionary tale of designer Kenneth Cole, who created the “#Cairo” hashtag for his new collection and began tweeting it at the same time as the major uprising in Cairo, Egypt.
Worse, he tried to use the riots for promotion. This tweet has to be the ultimate in tackiness and insensitivity…
That is why it’s always vital to check out your hashtag keyword before rushing ahead to use it – it might already be trending in an entirely different context.