Hashtags are words or phrases with # at the beginning and no spaces between words (for example, #iamsotiredof is an example of a hashtag). They were originally created by Twitter users as ways to organize Tweets by topic so you could view the entire stream of messages by various users who include this hashtag in their Tweets.
How Are Hashtags Used?
1) Ongoing Topics:
Tag a post with a hashtag such as #seo so people will know that your post is about search engine optimization. People who filter for hashtags or do searches on a hashtag can track who’s tweeting about that topic. This helps the Tweeter (who put #seo in their Tweet) to be found. Click here for an example – #seo hashtag at hashtags.org.
2) Twitter Conversations:
They are also used for short term Twitter conversations. One person can declare a hashtag and people include that in their questions or comments. All of the Tweets with that hashtag can be tracked and responded to. A tool to track conversations in real time is: TweetChat
-> Click here for a detailed post on Twitter Chats.
3) News, Gossip or World Events:
To communicate news about a pop star, a world event (Egypt, Osama Bin Laden) or other major news items, people will find the hashtag being used (or create one) and attach that to posts in order to be included in the stream of information about that event. People use tools such as What the Trend, Twemes.com or Hashtags.org amongst others to find hashtags. Below are a portion of a typical 30 day ranking from What the Trend:
4) Twitter Hashtag Memes:
People (including celebrities or late night TV hosts) can create a topic such as #thingsiscrewedup (things I screwed up) and people will Tweet a message including the hashtag and a response to the theme of the hashtag. A meme is a trend or concept that spreads on the Internet.
Use What The Trend to see trending topics (that use hashtags) on Twitter:
26 must-know Hashtags for Marketers & Bloggers
(click on the hashtags to see recent trends and Tweets from hashtag.org)
Blogging / Content Marketing:
#blog – identifying a blogger or post about a blogger
#blogger – see above
#article – an article
#articles – see above
#tips – a tips article or video
#diy – do-it-yourself
#news – news item
Types of Marketing:
#seo – search engine optimzation
#sem – search engine marketing (e.g. pay-per-click marketing, seo)
#ppc – pay-per-click marketing such as Google Adwords or Microsoft Adcenter
#ecommerce – online commerce, ecommerce
#adwords – Google Adwords
#smm – social media marketing
#mobile – about mobile or mobile marketing
#marketing – about marketing
#logo – about a logo (or need for a logo, e.g. combined with #freelance)
#identity – brand identity
#branding – about branding
#design – about design
What hashtags do you use? How do you like to use hashtags? Leave your thoughts in the comments below…