What are Twitter Hashtags?
Twitter hashtags are a way to add metatags and extra information into your Tweets. They help people who are searching for a specific content find your related Tweets. Effectively using hashtags can get your message out to more readers who are interested and can help you build a larger following on Twitter. Hashtags are becoming increasingly popular among users even though many people are strongly against them because they feel that it takes away from the ‘human’ aspect of the communication.
It is very easy to use hashtags. Simply insert the hashtag before your word (#word). Unfortunately, this leads to misuse and abuse of the feature by many. Make sure you are not guilty of this because hashtag abuse can lose you followers in a flash. Reserve your use of hashtags for times when you want to group your tweets for a specific topic or purpose. It is also important to make your hashtag very apparent or make a Tweet explaining the purpose and meaning of any hashtag you choose to use. This can draw more people to your purpose and avoid confusion among your followers. It also lets readers know that you are using your hashtags with purpose and not simply spamming.
Another great way to use Twitter hashtags is to organize conferences and events and their related before and after activities. To do this successfully, it is important to decide on the hashtag ahead of time. Make sure to remind attendees of the Twitter hashtag at before the event through your Tweets, website, and other media. Provide additional reminders throughout the day to keep everyone organized and on the same page. If you want to make sure the conversation is available to everyone, set up a widget on your website using Tweetgrid or Widgetbox so those who are unfamiliar with Twitter can follow along easily.
As with many social media tools, Twitter hashtags are a valuable resource when used correctly. If you choose to try them, start slow and get comfortable with the process and the unspoken rules regarding use of the tags. Soon you will find that Twitter hashtags can make your networking much easier.
By using Twitter hashtags responsibly and effectively, you can maximize your Twitter efforts.