Ultimate Guide to Twitter Hashtags

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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:

hashtags.org


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:

twemes

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:

wthashtag.com

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:

FollowFriday

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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  • http://www.majgicdating.com/ Durward Sobek

    I don’t have much idea about Twitter Hashtags. So it really helps me in understanding the Twitters one more Feature or service.

  • http://www.royaltonlimo.com John

    Never herd of them before, will try to use them asap.
    Thank you.

  • http://www.internetimagemanagement.com Andromeda

    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.

  • http://www.brokenurn.com Robert C

    Hashtags are a great way to follow a conversation. I read them in Bloglines; super easy.

  • http://katefoy.com Kate Foy

    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.
    Thanks.

  • http://www.TwitterByTheSea.net Sharnese LaNier

    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

  • http://www.refurbishedmacbooks.biz/ refurbished macbooks

    Ann thanks a lot for the guide, i have not been using the hashtags until now, but will be really doing that now for sure.

  • http://twitter.com/jasonspalace jason nadaf

    i am using hashtags to categorize my tweets for #freeseo. have a nice day!

  • http://blognato.fisica-interessante.com/ Renato P. dos Santos

    Thank you for this useful post. I’ve been using hashtags for a while and I’m happy to see that I’ve been doing not so wrong.

  • http://www.otherbb.com/ Barry Welford

    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.

  • http://otakureview.today.com LB

    Thanks for the primer on Hashtags, I was one of the confused but feel better now ^_^

  • Doug

    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 “#”?

    • http://www.insegment.com Boston SEO

      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.

  • http://travelhopefully.wordpress.com mand

    I’d noticed hashtags but hadn’t yet worked them out – so many thanx for this, very timely. 80)

  • https://www.searchenginejournal.com Ann Smarty

    @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.

  • http://www.danielnatale.net Daniel Natale

    Thanks, I am always looking for new and interesting Twitter tips.

  • http://www.ownyourown.org.uk barry manville

    I have seen hashtags but didn’t know wot they were. Thanks for the help, I’ll start using them now and will explore others usuage

  • http://www.YourSuccessClub.com Yong-Long

    Definitely will start using hash tags more effectively… Thanks for the info.

  • http://www.twitter.com/ronniewilson Ronnie Wilson

    I asked on twitter where to find out about hashtags and this site was recommended, Very useful information, Thanks

  • http://twitter.onlinemktg.info Sofia Hogan

    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…

  • http://hotreels@blogspot.com Hotreel

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

  • http://hotreels.blogspot.com Hotreel

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

  • http://considersuicide.net m80

    I’ve been wondering what hashtags were. Thanks for the info!

  • http://www.pupuweb.com/blog/printed-wikipedia/ Alex Lim

    Twitter trending topics, search and related applicatins thrive on these hashtags, as they serve as noted keywords in the sea of tweets going through the microblogging platform. So determining the perfect hashtag is akin to creating the perfect title for a blog post.

    http://www.pupuweb.com/blog/promote-yourself-with-twitter-hashtag/

  • http://www.trustwsisolutions.com Richard Beane

    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.

  • http://www.digital-clarity.com Darren Hughes

    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

  • http://speakerinteractive.com Swan

    The Twitter Chat schedule shows which hashtags are being used for regular collaboration at scheduled times: Check out http://bit.ly/oXBBu for the list.

  • bubbleduck

    Hi there,

    Does anyone know how to find out how many people are following a hashtag?

    Thanks!

  • http://pbuydid.blogspot.com Pablo

    Thanks, clear and well explained. A helpful information.

  • http://ihchicky.etsy.com Ilissa

    Thanks for the article. Very easy to follow and helped me find what I was looking for. :)

  • http://www.amalbala.com Amal Bala

    Thanks for this info. I am still learning about Twitter hashtags and how to use them; your article helps. Much appreciated.

  • Sam

    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.

  • http://www.slymarketing.com Jens P. Berget

    I’m using hashtags to promote my ebook on Twitter. This way people can follow my progress, and it’s easy to keep a timeline.

    – jens

  • http://dknol.com Paul Smith

    Hi Ann, wanted to find out more about hashtags so looked up google and found your article. Thanks for sharing this valuable information.

  • http://www.TheDONclothing.com Daniel Rechel

    hashtags.org was down (Over Capacity) ? so i tried google for a comparable site. Thanks for your links!

  • http://www.blendr-media.com/blendrblog mike mcgrath

    Hashtags.org has been over capacity for months…

  • http://www.letterperfectspeeches.com Allison Wood

    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.

  • http://www.tomtravel2.com tomtravel2

    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

  • http://www.whatthetrend.com Liz

    There is also a great resource at http://www.whatthetrend.com where users can contribute definitions & vote definitions up and down.

  • http://npxp.com/ Kamal Hasa

    This is a very useful guide for hashtags. I am not a Twitter fanatic but then it it is no harm when I use it for my Blog 😀

  • BadHashtagKing

    #WhyIsThisConsideredRippingOffMyFollowers #YouDontMakeTheRules #HashtagsCanBeUsedToBringAttentionToSomethingTooEspeciallyWhileRunningOutOfCharacters

  • BadHashtagKing

    #WhyIsThisConsideredRippingOffMyFollowers #YouDontMakeTheRules #HashtagsCanBeUsedToBringAttentionToSomethingTooEspeciallyWhileRunningOutOfCharacters

  • http://marketbold.com/KeywordMapPro/ http://marketbold.com/KeywordMapPro/

    Thanks for enlightening me about hashtags.. I often use them improperly but now I am more aware of the use.

  • Rajamanickam

    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.