Whether you’re new to Twitter or a seasoned pro, you’ve probably noticed tweets in your timeline containing a word or phrase attached to the hash symbol (“#”), this is a “hashtag.” At any given time at least one tag is tied to a trending topic posted on Twitter. Here’s the million-dollar question – what is a hashtag?
What is a Hashtag?
Hashtags are really are just a way of categorizing and linking tweets about a specific topic. They are most often used as a search mechanism and to fuel social media marketing strategies.
Try your hand at these 5 tips to enhance your hashtag strategy!
1. Seek Tailored Conversations
Twitter is a great platform to learn from others. By using broad hashtags like #digitalmarketing, you are given a plethora of suggestions, resources, trends and up-to-date news within the industry. Tweets in any given timeline can trigger your creative juices to help you write your next blog post and give you ideas for effective marketing campaigns. If you’re looking for a more targeted conversation just narrow your hashtag search by topic. The #webdesign hashtag delivers information that would fulfill any web designer or developers dream! You can even use hashtags such as #entrepreneurs to preview influential industry related expert profiles and to meet other professionals, try the #networking hashtag.
2. Keep Hashtags Simple and Minimal
Keep hashtags simple! For example, say you want to promote an upcoming webinar titled, “Measuring Digital: How to Track Digital Marketing & Quantify ROI”. It’s better to attach a simple hashtag – #digitalROI – instead of #measuringdigitalandquantifingROI. Complex hashtags are not search-friendly or frequently used, and these tweets tend to get buried in your timeline quickly.
Not every tweet requires a hashtag, let alone multiple tags. Be mindful in your selection and don’t go overboard. One or two hashtags per tweet will do the trick; more than that can sound desperate and is a sure-fire way to disengage followers quickly.
3. Organize Social Dashboards by Hashtag
Social dashboards such as HootSuite, TweetDeck or Postano are helpful in keeping your hashtags organized. As simple as creating a new folder to categorize various emails, you can easily label columns within a social dashboard by social network, key terms or hashtags to stay in the loop of hashtags that are of interest to you and relevant. You can add columns when needed and delete them once the hashtag is no longer applicable.
Organizing your hashtags makes it easier to follow and track conversations, retweet or reply, and identify what topics engage your audience most!
4. Create a Unique Hashtag
You can create your own hashtag by adding the hash symbol (#) to a word or phrase, for example: #SoSlam, used by Pyxl for the Social Media Club Knoxville’s Social Slam event. Events are the perfect opportunity to maximize the use of unique hashtags, you can generate buzz and stir up conversation before the event even begins. Throughout the event you can encourage attendees to tweet using the unique hashtag. This way people attending the event in person or via the web can follow and interact in the discussion keeping all tweets about the event in a single stream.
Unique hashtags are great for launching contests and marketing campaigns. Provide your Twitter users with a designated hashtag and ask them to attach the tag to their tweet when participating in contests or campaigns to easily locate submissions like ideas or photos.
5. Live TweetChat
TweetChat is a preplanned chat using Twitter through tweets that include a designated hashtag that links the tweets together in a virtual conversation. Sign up for TweetChat and choose a hashtag you are interested in following. TweetChat has the capability of connecting you with other users who are talking about similar things. If you were hosting a webinar or a live Q&A and created a unique hashtag, users can enter the hashtag to converse in real time during and after the webinar.
Since Twitter users are able to search hashtags from people they aren’t currently following to look for content, it makes Hashtags spread like wildfire. Using hashtags is a great way to not only expand your market reach, but also connect with current followers on a more personal level. This helpful hash symbol files your tweets for easy search and organization on Twitter to simplify locating tweets on a specific subject, while filtering out related tweets that might coincidentally include the same keyword.