What is this – “#” sign doing in a lot of Twitter tweets? Why do most of the webmaster and bloggers use this hash symbol in their tweets?
This is the one of the question I found in my mail box today in the morning with the subject “### every one using ###”. So if you are also among those Tweeple or Twitter users, who don’t know about the mystery ‘#’ sign than this post is for you!
What are HashTags?
In simple little words – it’s just categorizing or grouping your tweets like you categorize/group your blog posts in categories.
Here is how Twitter defines it – “Because Twitter provided no easy way to group tweets or add extra data, the Twitter community came up with their own way: hashtags. A hashtag is similar to other web tags it helps add tweets to a category. Hashtags have the ‘hash’ or ‘pound’ symbol (#) preceding the tag, like so: #traffic, #followfriday, #hashtag.”
Hashtags can be used anywhere in between the tweets, at end or beginning, see the example below:
A more important use of Hashtag is tracking, it helps you to track latest trends and yes even helps you to search within your tweets. To explain this a bit more let’s take an example -
If you search for #Heroes you will a long list of tweets related to TV show Heroes but you will not get any result where tweet says “American soldiers are true Heroes” because Heroes is not preceded by hash (#) tag.
Another simple example is Local trends :
This is the best example of a service that makes use of popular hashtags to generate a list of Trends (What people are tweeting most with a particular Hashtag).
How To Use Hashtags?
There are no rules defined to use hashtags, you can use them as you want, can create them of your own choice. You can add 1-3 hashtags in your tweets, though you can use more than that, but come on … your main aim is tweeting first (and then tracking your tweets and categorizing by using Hashtags).
As a Blogger what’s in it for me?
Because hashtags spread quite heavily and may list up in the Local Trends and most of the tweeple search hashtags and use Local trends to search for the latest content of their interesting topics, thus it is a good way to connect with you audience and a chance to increase your followers too. So now you may have understood that not only creating new hashtags will help but even tweeting with some popular hashtags will also bloom your follower numbers.
What we recommend is:
- Try to add 1 tweet per day with hashtags on the trending topics that you can find easily from local trends.
- Always use hashtags with your important tweets which you want to track, for example if you have organized a contest or an event, than you surely want to track updates on it. So hash tags can be of great help.
- Try to create a hashtag using not more than 10 words.
- Don’t just flood your tweets with hashtags.
- You cab use TweetGrid or Twitter search for performing real-time Twitter searches of hashtags.
Do you use hashtags? Or are you too lazy to use them!