Wednesday, 28 March 2012

How To Use Hashtags In Twitter

Twitter has become one of the top must subscribed social networks today.  Unfortunately, most Twitter users are not really that familiar with Hashtags.  So, the question is what are Hashtags?

Hashtags mainly function to organize and share information with other Twitter subscribers.  Strictly speaking though, the mechanism of Hashtags is not limited to Twitter only - but for organizational purposes as well.  But then again, these are primarily utilized for publishing tweets and other information.

As we all know, tweets are the 140-character phrases or statements created by Twitter users to share their thoughts, what they are doing and other information that the user wants to post in his Twitter page.

Here’s a classic example of twitter searches: let’s say a twitter user wants to know something about what other tweets are saying, like ecommerce.  In order to do this, all the Twitter user will have to do is to type the phrase “ecommerce” (without the quotes) in the search field provided by twitter and the user will be able to gain access to tweets related to ecommerce.  Unfortunately, most of the time, the user will notice that the results for the phrase “ecommerce” are not linkable.  Why?  Because the user probably did not use hashtags.

Now if the same user would be searching “ecommerce” in twitter using hashtags, (note: the user must use one continuous word, no spaces between words), the user will find that the hashtag “#ecommerce” is a clickable link.  Hence, if the user would click this hashtag - he will receive a live feed of all related tweets that have the said tags in them.

Honestly, though, if you’re not quite familiar in how to use hashtags in Twitter, you may find it a bit confusing.  Here are some additional tips – in order for you to get the most out of your tweets, and so that your twitter followers will be able to find your topics more easily.

Make use of Identification Tools: this is the one of the easiest ways for you to fully understand and use hashtags.  There are a number of tools available for use to provide you with the necessary assistance and so you won’t be having a hard time in understanding its function.

Some tools would act as a personal dictionary. With tools like these, you won’t have any difficulty in finding hashtags created by other twitter users.

hashtagsOther tools would also have a special feature that will enable you to be constantly updated with new tweets.  “Tagging”, will inform you of trending topics, especially those that are constantly attached with specific hashtags, like ecommerce for example.

Other tools would also provide twitter users with other ways to increase awareness on a hashtag, either by highlighting the subject, or by adding pictures with short descriptions.

Create your own hashtag: creating a hashtag is easy, all you have to do is place the hash sign (#) in front of a keyword that you want to be tagged. For example, “#choosing the right brand”.

Track hashtags: you will need to track hashtags in order for you to be updated as to what’s new and what’s trending in Twitter. This is also a way to keep up with the latest topic in real time.  Hence, look for tools that will send you daily alerts on the latest and trending topics.

Follow the hashtag rules: there a re 3 simple rules for you to follow to created effective hashtags. And first is that you must avoid using them too often.  Why?  You should control the use of hashtags because if not, your posts may eventually appear as spam to other twitter users.

Secondly, create a short explanation or description of the subject matter of your hashtag – so that twitter users will be able to fully understand the message you want to convey, and what they actually mean.

Lastly, create significant and relevant hashtags to disseminate the right and precise that you want.

Organize your hashtags: Organize your hashtags in order for you to have a more organized discussion. You will also need to have a discussion tracker and periodic reminders attached on your account - so that your followers can be updated.

Image by Flickr

2 comments:

  1. It's important to have a Twitter post that isn't too cluttered. Using too many hashtags can confuse your follower. Stick to one or two and make sure that they are actually relevant to the post.

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  2. That is a very good tip particularly to those new to the blogosphere. Brief but very precise info… Appreciate your sharing this one. A must read article!

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