Ultimate Guide to Twitter Hashtags

What is a Twitter hashtag?

A hashtag is a way to unite global Tweets around some particular topic. Basically, these are tags that that help those who seek similar content discover your Tweets. According to the official source:

Hashtags are a community-driven convention for adding additional context and metadata to your tweets. They’re like tags on Flickr, only added inline to your post. You create a hashtag simply by prefixing a word with a hash symbol: #hashtag.

Hashtags are getting more and more popular (despite the fact some people are against them wishing their Twitter stream to be metadata-free and “as human a form of communication as possible”).

Add more Twitter Followers using twitter location search

Anyway, I do use hashtags and find them fun, so I am sharing a few tips and resources below.

Where can I find what hashtags people are using?

#hashtags.org is the first place to find most recent and hot hashtags. It also shows each hashtag popularity trend when you hover over:


Twemes.com is another useful resource for discovering new hashtags and tracking those you are interested in. It has a hashtag cloud and also offers RSS subscription to any hashtag stream:


Wthashtag.com is a user generated wiki of hashtags. If you don’t know what any hashtag means or how to use it, you can use the site search and get a well-compiled entry explaining the meaning of the hashtag:

  • When it was first discovered;
  • Description;
  • External links;
  • Live stream using the hashtag:


How are hashtags used?

Generally, a hashtag is a great way to increase your Tweet visibility. However they should only be used if your Tweet adds value to the topic (so don’t insert # sign before each word).

Remember, that hashtags are tracked by people, so don’t waste their time by [I #eat #ice-cream #now] type of messages (this is also likely to rip off your followers). As an example, here are a couple of cases when using a hashtag makes sense:

  • To categorize your Tweets based on a particular topic or for a particular purpose – e.g. #followfriday is a fun tradition to recommend your friends (and the whole universe) new people to follow:


Hashtags: live-blogging

Do you use hashtags? Share your favorite ones!

Ann Smarty
Ann Smarty is the blogger and community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas. Ann's expertise in blogging and tools serve as a base for her writing, tutorials and her guest blogging project, MyBlogGuest.com.
Ann Smarty

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44 thoughts on “Ultimate Guide to Twitter Hashtags

  1. I always use them when responding to someone else who use the hashtag already. Has started some interesting conversations with others who wasn’t following me.

  2. Great beginners’ guide for a Twitter convention that makes sense, especially when the ‘stream’ gets crowded and you want to focus on an event, a theme, a passion.

  3. Oh yes! I use #hashtags quite often. Especially, now that we are promoting 1st Twitter By The Sea Conference Cruise! My fav #followfriday! Thanks for the post. BTW- Great resources

  4. Most useful guide, Ann. It’s a great way of adding a very simple indicator of subject within the 140 characters and I’ve had some most useful and unexpected inputs by searching on hashtags like google for example.

  5. I don’t understand the value of the hash itself in the hashtag. I can search for tweets about SXSW or #SXSW so what’s the point of the “#”?

    1. The hash is for identifying the keyword in your text. When you want your tweet to be made visible for other searching for SXSW, your tweet should read #SXSW.

  6. @Doug, the point in a hashtag is that Tweets are supposed to be more informative and relevant. You won’t see any random mentions – just Tweets containing useful information. Therefore it is so important to use hashtags only when you add value to the topic.

  7. If there is a way to organize information, humans will try because without some sense of data capture, the experience feels wasted, unfortunately. Thanks for the great info…

  8. Thanks for the inspiration!
    Didn’t see anything similar on Twitter, so I decided to try a celebrity tracking hashtag:
    People can add their own faves to the list.

  9. Thanks for the inspiration!
    Didn’t see anything similar on Twitter, so I decided to try a celebrity tracking hashtag:
    People can add their own faves to the list.

  10. Your articles always have great information – I am just starting to understand Twitter and this article helped explained how to use this site more effectively. Thanks.

  11. As Twitter becomes more of a business marketing tool, hashtags will become a way in which organizations can connect and engage with potential customers interested in their products or services. I am beginning to use hashtags more frequently for business purposes and they really help me to drill down and find very specific individuals that I want to target.

    Darren Hughes
    Digital Clarity, LLC

  12. saw a new hash tag #BrnSt on Emotional Brain Training News. I think it means Brain State or a way to describe how stressed you are, 1-Feeling Great, 5-Stressed Out.

    Much easier way of explaining how you feel to other people in your network.

  13. I have been using an established hashtag in several of my tweets, but then when I search on that tag none of my tweets show up – not sure what I’m doing wrong? I am putting the tag at the end of my tweet, with a space before it but no spaces within the tag (#ragandc). Any help is much appreciated, as I’d like to be using these right! Thanks.

  14. Hashtags are crucial for events and can be great for those connecting around a common interest or in a common place. Tweet you in #travel or #arizona

  15. #WhyIsThisConsideredRippingOffMyFollowers #YouDontMakeTheRules #HashtagsCanBeUsedToBringAttentionToSomethingTooEspeciallyWhileRunningOutOfCharacters

  16. #WhyIsThisConsideredRippingOffMyFollowers #YouDontMakeTheRules #HashtagsCanBeUsedToBringAttentionToSomethingTooEspeciallyWhileRunningOutOfCharacters

  17. As a general rule, you should never use a hashtag on a tweet unrelated to that tag, nor should you stuff your tweets with currently popular hashtags with the sole purpose of appearing in Twitter search results. Several small businesses have attempted this, often to their own peril. Proper etiquette dictates that you should only use hashtags if your tweet is actually relevant to the tag’s associated meme or topic.