Hashtags are powerful tools to get attention in a nosy social media world. Using hashtags on Twitter the right way can give you better results than plain text alone. Here’s how to get the most out of Twitter hashtags.
Reasons You Want to Use Hashtags on Twitter
Hashtags in Twitter are not just there to add humor or inspire comedians. They also serve a purpose by connecting threads of conversation. Every hashtag on Twitter is a clickable link that allows you to see the posts of other people using that tag. It can help you be found in Twitter searches. And it can also work collectively to help certain topics trend on Twitter, bringing even more attention (great for groups, conference organizers, and thought leaders).
If you are hosting an event, doing a fundraiser, or trying to coordinate any other effort, talking about your hashtag strategy should definitely be a part of your overall planning. Be sure to do a search for any hashtags that you are considering using so that you don’t end up using something that is already in use (and possibly for a very different purpose than you intend).
The “How Many” Question about Twitter Hashtags
Unlike on Instagram, where more hashtags are usually better, there is a sweet spot on Twitter. Research has shown that tweets with hashtags get twice as much engagement, but tweets with three or more hashtags get 21% less engagement. Part of this is due to Twitter’s 140 character limit on tweets. Reading a whole string of nothing but hashtags is hard to read at best.
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How to Use Hashtags with Twitter Chats
Another way that hashtags come in useful on Twitter is during Twitter chats. The hashtag allows people to log on at the same place and time and talk about a topic. Even if you can’t log in during the chat, these events can still be useful for building your business. To participate, search for the hashtag being used for the chat to read other people’s tweets, and be sure to include that same hashtag when you tweet your own conversation additions.
One of the advantages of Twitter chats is that since it is using real time interaction, you know that the people and accounts you are interacting with are currently and actively using Twitter, allowing you to start real time conversations about topics you both care about.
How to Spot Twitter Hashtags as Trending Topics
Another way that hashtags are important on Twitter are that they highlight trending topics that lots of people are talking about. It is the reason that Twitter is known as an important news source that can spread the word about things sometimes before anyone else.
The default is for trends to show up based on an algorithm by Twitter based on your location and who you follow. Any user can manually change this to what is trending in a particular location instead.
Trends are determined by the number of tweets within a short period of time, so coordinating efforts is very important if you want to get one of your hashtags to trend on Twitter. How many tweets you need to get a topic to trend depends on how active Twitter is and what the competition is.
It is important to note that Twitter has specific rules about the use of trending hashtags. Specifically, you can’t use “hijack” hashtags by using them in an unrelated tweet, repeatedly use a hashtag without adding value to the conversation, or use it for unrelated advertising purposes. If you do not follow these rules, your account may be suspended or deleted.
Discovering the Best Twitter Hashtags to Use
Other than trending hashtags, there are several ways to search for the best hashtags to use in your tweets. If you find hashtags that are relevant to your brand and used often, you may also want to keep track of them so you can join in on the conversation frequently. One way to do this is through the monitoring feature of Agorapulse. You can set up searches for any hashtags that you want (and even make rules about what to show and not show), and then be able to check in during your social media management.
How Do You Use Hashtags on Twitter?
Are you using all of these tips already in your Twitter marketing? Have you had any successes? Let me know in the comments!