What’s a hashtag?
A hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by a hash sign [#], used on social media sites such as Twitter to identify messages on a specific topic.
It’s essential to know how to use them because:
- Hashtags sort tweets with a theme.
- Hashtags in one tweet become clickable and allow you to find other tweets related to that topic.
- Hashtags make tweets searchable by keyword associated.
- The words in the form of hashtags that are very popular may become a Trend Topic.
How does it work on Twitter?
A Twitter hashtag ties the conversations of different users into one stream.
Let’s use #writer as an example.
For the hashtag #writer, you’ll see there are a few ways to toggle the hashtag stream:
- A stream of tweets using that hashtag that have been seen the most engagement.
- A live stream of tweet from everyone tweeting out that hashtag.
- A live stream of tweets from publishers and other sources.
- A collage of photos included in tweets that use the hashtag.
- A stream of tweets using the hashtag that have videos in them.
- More Options: A dropdown menu that has great options to pick from, including ‘From people you follow’ and ‘Near you’.
Using a hashtag is easy. All you should do is to publish a tweet from a public account that includes the hashtag #writer, for instance.
How to find hashtags
There are many ways to find hashtags, so you can use them appropriately.
If you already know the hashtag, there are 4 main ways to search for it:
- Using the search box in the top-right corner of your screen. Type #writer.
- Using an advanced search.
- Using a third-party tool like Hootsuite.
- Typing it directly into a URL like http://twitter.com/#writer
What the trend registers and monitors all hashtags in the world; yet if you’re searching for popular hashtags from scratch, the best place to look for is the trending topics bar on the left-hand side of your home screen.
How to use the right hashtag and how many should we use
Observing how big brand accounts (or from our field) use them is a good way to begin with. In general, here are some tips that will help you to choose them or to create new.
- Do not create hashtags that no one understands, very long hashtags, or with special characters.
- Do not use many hashtags or many words.
- Use hashtags that are related to the topic you’re sharing.
- Do not spam.
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