If you’ve been on Twitter for more than a few minutes, you’ve likely seen Twitter’s hashtags. Known as the pound sign (#) in the pre-digital era, a Twitter hashtag is a symbol used before a word or phrase that helps categorize the content.
However, there’s a lot more to the little symbol than simply typing it before a phrase. Hashtags can actually boost your content and put it directly in front of your target audience when used appropriately.
Follow along with us, and we’ll show you how to use and make the most of your Twitter hashtags.
How to Use Twitter Hashtags
We’ll start by teaching you the basics of Twitter hashtags. Before you can learn what hashtags mean or which ones to use let’s take a moment to ensure you know how to type and Tweet them properly.
Follow these steps to use a Twitter hashtag:
Step 1: Start a New Tweet
Naturally, you’ll want to start a new Tweet. Click the New Tweet icon on your desktop or the mobile app.
Of course, you can also use hashtags in replies as well.
Step 2: Type the # Key
Locate the # sign on your device.
Those using a computer can click Shift+3 to type the # sign. While those using an Android or iOS device can click the symbol key in the lower left corner of their keyboards to access the # key.
When you find it, type #.
Step 3: Type Your Hashtag
Now type your line of text. Don’t type any commas or punctuation, and try to keep your text string short (less than three words).
Helpful hint: When Twitter recognizes a hashtag, it will turn into a blue hyperlink. If you don’t see the blue text, it means Twitter will not recognize that hashtag. Verify there aren’t any spaces or punctuation in the text string.
Step 4: Tap Tweet
Finally, tap Tweet.
Now your Tweet is linked to other similar Tweets that contain that hashtag.
How Do Hashtags Work?
When you type a string of text with no spaces and put a hash mark in front, Twitter will recognize your hashtag and do all the work for you. But you may have questions such as, “is this a good hashtag?” or, “am I doing this right?”
Ultimately, when typed correctly, hashtags trigger the algorithm to include your Tweet with others, so it appears in searches. But it also boosts your Tweets to those who have similar interests.
If someone interacts with #finances often, and you include that hashtag, it will likely appear in their searches or Twitter feed. Essentially, hashtags put your content front and center for a specific audience.
For a detailed guide on how to use hashtags properly just check out the video below.
Different Kinds of Hashtags
Hashtags link your Tweets to similar Tweets. This lets other users know why you’re Tweeting and puts your content in a category that’s relevant to that user. For example, when someone wants to see technology news, they can search #technology and see all relevant information in the same place.
While all hashtags follow the same pattern (# + unbroken line of text), there are different categories. While you’re learning to use Twitter hashtags effectively, it’s important to understand how different categories can help you narrow down which tags suit your needs.
Take a gander at the following hashtag categories. Then, we’ll help you find the best ones for your needs.
If you want to boost your views or lead traffic to your website, trending hashtags will help. Trending hashtags are keywords that your target audience is already talking about. So, including one or two relevant trending hashtags is the perfect way to maximize the quality of your content.
But don’t use just any trending hashtags. Twitter users select topics they like to follow when they create their accounts. If you run a coffee company but use sports-based hashtags, you aren’t reaching your target audience — no matter how popular the hashtag is.
Event hashtags are perfect for reaching an audience that’s interested in something that only happens occasionally. Think #worldcup. In recent months, #worldcup was trending for months. This one reached audiences globally. It was a great hashtag.
However, the World Cup may not have been relevant to your newest ad campaign or your standard content. It was also incredibly overused. If you want to use an event-based hashtag, either pair it with another hashtag (i.e. #worldcup #morningcoffee) or ensure the event is directly related to your Tweet.
Another hashtag category includes industry-specific terms. If you want to boost your content to those interested in your industry, it’s okay to input terms frequently used in your industry. For example, if you want to reach people interested in finance topics, use the right terms, but don’t expect to reach those interested in technology or pet rescue.
It’s also essential to remember that those looking for finance news probably aren’t looking for #cutepuppies today (no matter how well it’s trending). So, again, it’s okay to use industry jargon, but don’t expect everyone to understand or take interest in it.
Often Used, Rarely Overlooked
Some hashtags are perfect for everyday use. This category includes more niched hashtags such as #morningworkout or #afternooncoffee. Including these terms at the right times every day can help boost your content and put it right in front of others who have similar interests.
How to Find the Best Twitter Hashtags
Now that we’ve covered all the basics of Twitter hashtags, you’re probably wondering how you find the best hashtags. Well, there are ways to find the best Twitter hashtags for you.
The first place you can look is the Twitter Trending page. Open your Twitter account and tap the Trending section (found when you click the magnifying glass icon). Scroll through the currently trending hashtags.
Of course, the downside to this method is that you’ll only see hashtags that are relevant to your interests. So, you may want to do a little more digging.
Whether you’re trying to grow your business or want more followers on Twitter, many third-party companies offer solutions to some of Twitter’s limitations. Fortunately, you can use Hashtagify or another service to learn how well a hashtag is doing.
Pull up the website and type your hashtag. Then, you can see analytics and determine whether it’s the right fit. You can also search Twitter Suggestions to find other important hashtags.
Hashtags are helpful on most social media platforms. But Twitter, especially, is known for them. You can use hashtags to reach the right audience, grow your account, or engage in great conversations.
However, before you start randomly posting hashtags, it’s important to know how they work and Twitter hashtag etiquette.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Koshiro K/Shutterstock.com.