What Are Twitter HashTags and How Do They Work?

When first getting to grips with Twitter, you need to learn a confusing array of Twitter-related terminology, do’s and don’ts, and best practices. Twitter is its own ecosystem and people behave differently on Twitter than elsewhere.

What Are HashTags?

When sending out a 140 character limit Twitter message, called a Tweet, within the Tweet itself a hashtag can be included. It may look like the following:

#britneyspears

The purpose of a hashtag is to point to the Tweet being related to a particular topic of discussion and to include the Tweet within that respective group by using a keyword associated with it. By adding a form of category, called a hashtag, Twitter users can search for any new Tweets with the same hashtag and your Tweet may show up in their search. Therefore, a hashtag is a way to quickly categorize a Tweet message, or to try and find new Twitter Followers.

More than one hashtag can be used in a single Tweet, however it is important not to make most of your message a single stream of hashtags as that could seem to be excessive. The current recommendation is to keep hashtags to a two tag maximum per Tweet.

Clicking on a hashtagged word will bring up a search for other recent Tweets using the same hashtag.

A Twitter official page covering hashtags in more detail can be found below:

https://support.twitter.com/articles/49309-what-are-hashtags-symbols#

Search For Relevant HashTags Before Tweeting

When posting a Tweet, it is important to search for similar Tweets and existing topics of discussion so that you can determine if there is already a relevant hashtag relating to what you are about to Tweet. This avoids duplication and aids in the faster dissemination of your Tweet message to a wider audience.

Creating Your Own HashTag

Try to be consistent with naming conventions if you choose to create your own hashtag. Shorter is better too. Long tags are difficult to fit into a 140 character-restricted Tweet after all.

Trending HashTags

Watch out for high trending topics that have a hashtag that is in frequent use. Trending topics are highlighted in searches and on the Twitter home page.

Keeping Up With Industry News

Following ongoing Tweet discussions using industry specific hashtags is a good way to keep up with the latest goings on in your industry.

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