Using hashtags on Twitter is a great way to let people know that your article pertains to a specific topic that they might care about. There are actually people who track certain hashtags or search Twitter using hashtags that they care about.
Let’s take a recent post for example. It’s a guest post by Ryan Hanley about podcasting as a key part of content marketing. I don’t regularly write about podcasts (although I’ve hosted one, been interviewed on several and listen to them regularly). So I don’t have any specific knowledge about which hashtags are used.
So, how can I find out what hashtags are used?
1) A Commonsense Guess
For this topic, I guess that #podcast or #podcasting will be potential hashtags. Before I use them though, I can validate which one is actually used.
2) Run Your Guesses Through Hashtags.org
Put the hashtag in the box at the top right of Hashtags.org
Look at what we get for #podcast
Here’s what we get for #podcasting
Big difference isn’t it?
Hint: hashtags will usually be compact to save space for the rest of the words or links in the Tweet!
3) Do Some Searches in Twitter on the Relevant Hashtag
Let’s say we wanted to see if other hashtags were used related to this topic. Pick the hashtag that’s used the most and run a search in Twitter. You’ll find what other people who right about this topic are also using.
For example, for podcast tweets, I’m finding that most of them also include a hashtag of the topic. For example, #sports, #mobile, #Beethoven, etc.
Why don’t you check to see if #Beethoven is actually being used regularly? Let us know in the comments.
4) What Are Power Users Using?
If you know someone who tweets about this topic a lot, you can look find them on Twitter and see what hashtags they use related to the topic or industry.
5) Document Hashtags You Notice While Online
While on Twitter, you’ll see hashtags that you may want to use later. Capture these in your notes, Evernote, or wherever you save things for later use. Note that some hashtags are one-offs (e.g. #readyformynap – just made it up), are a trending topic, could be part of a Twitter chat, or may be related to an event. See more about hashtags here.
6) Run a Google Search
You can always search in Google to see what hashtags people are using for a specific industry. You may find that some site or blog has documented a list. You can double check the usage of these hashtags using hashtags.org.
I hope that gives you a practical way to find and use relevant hashtags. Don’t put more than one or two per post and don’t always include a hashtag! You can replace a word with a “hashtagged” version of itself or you can include one or key hashtags near the end of your tweet.
What Interesting Hashtags did you find?
Let me know if you found any interesting hashtags related to your industry in the comments!