Have you ever seen a post on Twitter that includes a # before a cluster of letters or a word? That’s called a hashtag and it’s a great tool to use to sort through and link to conversations on Twitter.
Social networking how-to is a fast moving world. Chances are you’re seeing hashtags left and right but you’re not getting enough information on how to use them. (Social networking expert Mari Smith made a great video on that, scroll to the end of this post for a link to that and other great resources)
By placing the # symbol before a word, phrase, or abbreviation, it creates a mini-search engine phrase that can be looked up and followed on Twitter.
Hashtags organize Tweets, but they also raise the online visibility level of events, conferences, teleseminars, holidays, and much more. You can use hashtags to bring increased visibility to your business by following these simple tips:
1. Learn How Twitter HashTags Work
Look around the Twitter stream and notice where people are using hashtags. The best way to understand them is to observe them in context and to start clicking. Click on the hash tag and it will take you to the Twitter search page where you’ll see every Tweet that also uses this hash tag. From there you can find out what the hashtag is being used for, who is using it, and in most cases links to where you can get more information.
2. Jump Right In and Start Using Hashtags
The best way to learn is to take action, so my suggestion is to jump right in. For instance, every Friday you’ll see people on Twitter make recommendations of their favorite “Tweeple” to follow by using the hashtag #followfriday. This is a good place to start if you’re new.
3. Create a Unique HashTag for Your Next Event
The next time you host any kind of event that attracts Twitter users, get your attendees to Tweet about it by giving them a specific hashtag. For example, when I do teleseminars and events I tell participants to Tweet about it in real time using the hashtag #vivavis which is short for my business, Viva Visibility.
My friend Leesa Barnes created the hashtag #smt09 for her Social Media Telesummit event that took place in January 2009. Every time she hosted a call, the Twitterverse was busily keeping track of the interviews by posting the tag on their comments and Tweets.
Twitter hashtags are like having a paddle to navigate the whitewater streams of Twitter. They add organization, the ability to track, and increase your online visibility by associating your name with a topic or trend.
Great resources to check out:
Do you have a hashtag you’d like others to follow? Be sure to share about it in the comments with links.