Your Ultimate Hashtag Guide
Let me take you on a rough ride to the hashtag heaven.
(By the way I am listening to Paul McCartney: Rough Ride – while writing this article – watch it on YouTube here)
What is this #hashtag?
The Twitter universe is so huge that it can be difficult to navigate. But the solution for many people is hashtags. With hashtags you can get receive – what you think are – the most important tweets in an efficient way.
Anybody can make a hashtag – write # in front of a word in your tweet and you have made your hashtag. So if I write #SeoCustomer in a tweet I have made a hashtag – easy right?
Other people on Twitter can use the same hashtag in their own tweets – and this will just add to the larger conversation about your topic.
A study showed that only around one-third of all tweets is worth reading. There are 340 million tweets every day on Twitter. So this is showing that 266 million tweets shouldn’t have been tweeted right?
So how do you stand out from the crowd? You will need to find your Twitter voice. Hashtags are a way to get noticed – but using too many hashtags in one tweet, can also make your tweet look messy, spammy and nonsensical.
Hashtags is becoming increasingly popular and you can now even find them in Google+ sphere.
Other sites that support hashtags are: Diaspora software and social network, All Gawker Media websites, Orkut, Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube (2009–2011), Instagram, FriendFeed (since 2009), Pinterest, Fluidinfo, Catch.com (as well as mobile apps).
With these hashtags you can connect with more people and therefor grow your number of followers and engage more people with your tweets.
Grab a cup of coffee and read more here…
Navigation with hashtags
When you write a hashtag it will appear in red, blue or gray type color. The rest of the tweet will appear in black.
When people are clicking on a hashtag, it will send them to the page for that hashtag.
So clicking on a hashtag will not send your audience to your homepage (if you have a URL in your tweets), but it’s a way to be found in the huge Twitter universe (It will send you to a page with the tweets using that hashtag).
In your “Trends” sidebar, you can see which hashtags that are the most popular on twitter.
You can also write “#SomethingNice” in the search bar at the top of the Twitter page, then you will find all the tweets containing this “#SomethingNice” hashtag.
A lot of people use a program like TweetDeck (1. photo). Here you can set up the screen to show you difference colonel with a specific hashtag.
How to find the hashtags to use
So which hashtags should you use? There are many ways to find your perfect hashtags. Let me tell you about some of them here…
1. Scroll though the twitter feeds from the people you follow. Here you can get some great ideas. If they are interested in those hashtags maybe you should be too.
2. Search for hashtags. Go to your search engine and search for “great twitter hashtags” or “awesome twitter hashtags” or “interesting twitter hashtags” or “cool twitter hashtags” to get ideas.
3. Go to site that aggregate and share hashtags. These sites can really give you some cool ideas.
Tools to find your hashtags
Let me show you a couple of great sites where you can get ideas for hashtags.
But you have to remember, that if a hashtag is getting trendy it can be even more difficult to parse though the information stream.
Twubs: Twubs aggregates tweet and it imports pictures and illuminate the topics that are being discussed.
Here in the picture I have checked out the #cafe hashtag.
You can also check out the trends on Twubs. If you have this trend hashtag you know that somebody out there is interested in your topic.
Hashtags.org is really a great tool. It will show you the use over time and the recent tweets. Here in the picture I was trying to find the use of the hashtag #cafe. I love this.
So what are the best practices with hashtags?
Let me tell you some great tips and tricks about how to use hashtags most properly.
- Short hashtags please. If you make a hashtag like this: #SeoCustomerIsTheBestSEOBlogInTheWorld it will not work. It’s much too long and complicated. So rule number one – it has to be user-friendly for the eye.
- People really don’t like symbols – people like words – so be sure you only use hashtags sparingly (I will have to check my tweets after I finish with this guide – I think I am using too many hashtags).
- Relevant hashtags – You hashtags should be relevant to your tweet. If your tweet is about dogs – don’t make a #cat hashtag.
Ready for more?
- Don’t spam your tweets with hashtags. When I make a tweet about an SEO article I can use the #SEO hashtag, but also #marketing, #online #business. But in the end it would leave me with 3, 4 or 5 #hashtags and it will make the tweet look confusing. Think quality not quantity.
- Promote your hashtags. If you are using your tweets for events or brand you should promote your hashtag. Let’s say you have a cafe and you always use this hashtag: #BestCafe. Then promote it everywhere you can. On your homepage, ads, signs. In your café make some signs telling people to follow your tweets with this hashtag. This could also engage people to use this take. I should make a #SeoCustomer hashtag.
- Be persistent. It will take time to build up an audience for your own hashtag. So be patient and persistent please.
- Make it readable for the eye. Don’t write #bestcafe – instead write #BestCafe.
Well, enough about hashtags
I need to redo my own hashtags here. I will make much fewer hashtag in my tweets.
As always – have a super duper day out there.