With this article I’m going to look at hashtags more closely because this is an often misunderstood and under-appreciated aspect of Twitter and social media.
The hashtag is a category identifier used in Twitter to filter tweets by keywords.
Maybe it’s the symbol (#) used but many people are intimidated by this concept. They look for more than what’s there.
Honestly, the hashtag concept is almost too simple.
But, it’s catching on. Even Facebook now uses hashtags.
Hashtags offer everyone the ability to participate in the public discussion around a Twitter topic. They form the basis for Trending Topics in Twitter.
As I’ve blogged previously, keywords form the lowest common denominator for your content. Incorporating them into your content and then using hashtags on Twitter and Facebook is a very powerful force multiplier. Remember too, tweets can be reposted increasing the likelihood of your content being read.
Tools like Twitter Discover, Google Keyword Planner, and Google itself are useful to identify popular keywords to employ in your content and with hashtags.
Best practices when using hashtags are to repost as already mentioned; cross promote your use of hashtags across different social media apps such as Twitter, Facebook, and your blog; and employ them for Twitter Chats.
Hootsuite is an excellent tool for helping to segregate tweets using hashtags to avoid the “drinking from a firehose” problem associated with Twitter.
A couple of watchouts with hashtags.
Try not to use more than two in tweet and don’t “stuff” unrelated hashtags (especially Trending Topics) into your tweets. The latter practice is one of the best ways to get yourself banned from Twitter.
A recent article in SocialMedia Examiner highlights five tools that can be used with hashtags to enhance their effectiveness with social media. In future articles, I’ll address how these tools can be used.
I’ll leave you with this for now!
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