Everything you need to know about using hashtags on Twitter
November 12, 2018
As a blogger, you’re probably already using Twitter to promote your latest content. But are you using hashtags effectively?
If used properly, Twitter hashtags can be a great way to promote your blog, reach a wider audience, get more engagement, and gain new followers.
However, there is such a thing as using hashtags badly so it’s important to make sure you understand which ones to use, when to use them, and how to use them properly.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about using hashtags on Twitter so you can look like a social media pro…
What are hashtags?
Adding the # symbol in front of a word or unbroken phrase turns it into a hashtag, or searchable link.
Clicking on the hashtag will take you to a list of all other mentions of it, allowing you to find related tweets and join in conversations.
So, for example, if you wanted to post about The Great British Bake Off, you could include their popular hashtag #GBBO in your tweet to join the conversation. When people search for that hashtag, your tweet will come up in the results.
Why should I use hashtags on Twitter?
As well as helping you to find relevant tweets, using hashtags also helps other Twitter users to find your content if they are interested in the same subject.
The right hashtags will get your content in front of a much wider audience, reaching people who don’t even follow you. You might also get more shares and replies as apparently tweets containing hashtags get 2x more engagement than those without.
You can also use hashtags to join Twitter chats – a group of people tweeting about the same topic at a specific time of day, all using the same hashtag. There’s a very comprehensive list of Twitter chats here so you can find details of those relevant to you.
How do I find hashtags on Twitter?
If you want to do a Twitter hashtag search to see if they are already being used or to join a conversation, simply enter the hashtag into the search box on Twitter:
You can then filter by Top or Latest – if you want to join real-time conversations make sure you choose Latest.
Trending hashtags (the most popular Twitter hashtags at that moment in time) will also appear on the left-hand side when you first log into Twitter:
You can alter your settings so these show trending hashtags from your specific location, country or worldwide.
Some popular hashtag examples include:
General: #news, #love, #photography, #fashion, #health, #fail, #ff, #wcw, #tbt
Fashion: #fashion, #style, #beauty, #fashionshow, #fashionweek, #designer, #dress, #model
Parenting: #parenting, #parents, #kids, #mom, #parentingtips, #children, #kids
Food: #food, #recipe, #recipes, #foodie. #foodporn, #dessert, #vegan, #dinner
Travel: #travel, #city, traveller, #travelblogger, #travelbloggers, #travelphotography
Blogging: #blogging, #blog, #blogger, #bloggers, #writing, #blogpost, #bloggingtips
If you use hashtags on Twitter properly they can get your content in front of a wider audience as well as getting more engagement and gaining new followers... Click To Tweet
How to create a hashtag on Twitter
The most important thing is that you cannot use spaces in a hashtag – a space will break the hashtag and only the first part after the # will be included as the link.
Group all words together and use CAPS if you want to differentiate between words.
#BloggingTips or #bloggingtips not #blogging tips
The # symbol is the only one you can use when creating a hashtag. You can’t use commas, speech marks, exclamation marks, full stops, ampersands, asterisk’s etc. As with spaces, including any symbols will break the chain of the link.
#benandjerrys not #ben&jerrys or #benandjerry‘s
Search for similar hashtags
If you’re making up your own hashtag, do a Twitter search first to see if anyone else is using it.
If you’re looking for a popular hashtag to use in your tweets, doing a search will help you to find relevant hashtags and check they’re not being used in another context.
The do’s and don’ts of using hashtags on Twitter
- Check your spelling – if you miss-spell a word it will make your Tweet undiscoverable.
- Research – check what other relevant hashtags people in your niche are using and jump on popular ones. If you want a hashtag that’s unique for your blog or business, make sure it’s not already being used by someone else.
- Give context – make sure your hashtags make sense. If you just add the hashtag #awesome nobody clicking on it will know what you’re referring to. And never #hashtag #every #single #word in your tweet, in isolation the hashtags don’t make any sense.
- Keep it short – because of the lack of spaces and punctuation, longer hashtags can be difficult to read. You also need to keep them short if you want others to use them in their tweets otherwise, people won’t have enough characters left to include them.
- Follow a trend – if you see a trending hashtag that’s relevant to you, take advantage of its popularity by joining in with the conversation and including the hashtag in your own tweets.
- Use too many – one or two relevant hashtags is plenty, remember you only get a set number of characters on Twitter as it is. There’s also a 17% decrease in engagement when more than 2 hashtags are used.
- Use all caps – unless your hashtag is an acronym all caps will just look like you’re shouting as well as making it harder to read.
- Spam – using trending hashtags that aren’t relevant to try and get more people to see your tweets will actually just annoy people and cause them to ignore your messages altogether.
- Avoid using acronyms – big brands can get away with it as people will be interested enough to work out what they mean, but if you make up an acronym nobody will know what you’re talking about.
Are you ready to start including hashtags in your Twitter posts now?