Even if you’re not an avid Twitter user, you’ve still probably seen that little crisscrossed symbol in front of the title of your favorite television show or band name and thought, “What’s that pound sign doing there?”
Or maybe, “What’s that number sign doing there?”
Or if you’re really smart, “What’s that octothorpe doing there?”
In the world of social media, it’s called a “hashtag,” and it’s put in front of a word or phrase as a filter. This way, when you do a search for a certain topic, you’ll see all of the most recent tweets from different users who are talking about that topic. If enough people talk about the same topic, Twitter will categorize it as a “Trend.” Hashtags can be used for almost anything: some people use them to filter emotions (#tootired) while others use them for ideas (#nextinvention) or locations (#London).
Why You Should Use Them
There’s one main reason why you should use hashtags in your tweets: exposure. When you use a hashtag, anyone searching for that topic will be able to see your tweet. They can then retweet it (giving you even more exposure), reply to it, or even start following you. If you’re using Twitter to market your products or services, using a hashtag can help you target people who may be interested in them.
For example: if you’re trying to sell car parts, you can easily use a hashtag in front of words like “radiator” or “turbo” to target people looking for those items. You can even get more specific and target the model names.
How You Should Use Them
Sure, it’s easy to stick a hashtag in front of words you think may be popular, but there is such a thing as too many hashtags. If you’re a regular Twitter user, you’ve probably come across tweets that have about 12 hashtags in them. These tweets are considered spam: something you don’t want to be. So in order to make hashtags a benefit to you, use only 1-3 in each tweet and use them in front or words or phrases that are relevant to your products or services.
For example: If you want to let everyone know that your store, Shoester, just got a new shipment of fall boots, a tweet that says “Looking for some great new #boots for the fall? Head to #Shoester – we just got a new shipment!” would be a good idea. This way, anyone searching for “boots” will be able to find your company.
You can also use hashtags when you run a promotion or contest: Start your own hashtag topic using your promo or contest name or have Twitter users use a hashtag to register.
Now that you know a little more about hashtags, get out there and try them out! And don’t forget to follow our digital marketing agency on Twitter @PragerMicro!