Hashtags are one of the most popular terms in the world right now, whether you use Twitter or not more than likely you have heard of #hashtags. Hashtags are Twitter vocabulary that originated in the early days of Twitter’s existence as a search tool that helps to communicate important information or events to users on the entire site.
Remember you are branding yourself and your product on Twitter when you use hashtags and it’s important to pick the best ways for others to find you. No one is going to see you, or follow you, if they don’t know how to find you. Building a solid following early is the key to success on Twitter.
Hashtags have drawn attention to everything from #CancerAwareness to #HelpHaiti and #HelpChile after the major earthquakes that occurred in each country. Hashtags can also draw attention to trending topics that are meant to be funny like #LilWaynesBreath and #NowPlaying where users talk about TV shows and movies they are watching at that moment.
If you use Twitter for business purposes or to promote your articles from Associated Content or Examiner hashtags can be very beneficial to you and help your articles get to a wider audience that are following the topic you are posting to. If you’re promoting an article about Living Green you could use the hashtags #Green #GreenLiving #Recycling #GoingGreen to promote your work. Hashtags are also beneficial because people who you don’t know will see your work and hopefully re-tweet or RT it for their followers to see. This gets your information to a broader audience.
#FollowFriday can also be a great way for writers or regular users of Twitter to get others to notice them and what they have to say. When a friend adds you to a #FollowFriday list you will be exposed to all of their followers and they in turn will see what you have to say and hopefully include you in their own #followfriday lists.
If you are holding an event and want people to tweet about it or during it you can use hashtags that promote the event. Popular tags in this category are #SXSW which promotes the South By Southwest concert in Austin, Texas. #NASATweetup was another very popular trending topic that allowed people picked by NASA to attend a launch in November and go behind the scenes the chance to tell the world what they were doing at the Tweetup.
If you are holding an annual event, like SXSW, you can tag it as #SXSW09 or #SXSW10 to tell the world what year you plan to attend the event. This also works for events like #ComicCon which is a Comic Convention held in San Diego annually.
If you are going to use hashtags to promote something remember to use tags that are relevant to what you are tweeting about. Falsely directing users to websites or information that has nothing to do with the hashtags used will be seen as SPAM and more than likely other users will report you and you could have your account closed.
Before you hit ENTER and send that tweet out to all your followers and other users think about what #hashtags you want to use. Think about whether other users are even going to use the tags you want to use. You can do a quick search using Twitters search bar to see how popular a tag is. If it has a lot of users updating with the tag less than a minute earlier it’s good to use it. If the last time anyone used that tag was hours or even days ago it’s better not to use it.
Rremember you only have 140 characters on Twitter so try to make the tag as simple and effective as possible. If you want to use hashtags to direct users to your website, but the URL is too long, remember to use websites like TinyURL.com which makes a long URL smaller and gives you more room to add a note or more hashtags.
Hashtags.org is the best online source of all hashtags currently trending on Twitter. If you want to search first before using Twitter start with this website which will tell you how popular the terms has been in the last week and how popular it is right now.