What Are Hashtags?

20th Jun

When you start to use twitter a little bit more you will notice people both talking about and using ‘Hashtags’ within their tweets. Hashtags are essentially a way to add ‘keywords’ into your tweets and categorize what you are talking about. By using hashtags you can mark out what is the specific topic of the tweet and make it easy to search for with other users.

Here you can see a tweet posted on my twitter. The hashtags I have chosen to use for this not only help to categorise my tweet, but also add information for the person reading it. By adding ‘#whiterocks’ I am making sure that if anyone searches for that within twitter they will come across my tweet; by adding ‘#portrush’ I am telling the reader where I am talking about, if they haven’t heard of whiterocks beach, but also ensuring that I will appear in any searches for ‘Portrush’

How should I use Hashtags?

There are a variety of things you should keep in mind when adding hashtags to your tweets:

  1. Make sure there is no space between the ‘#’ symbol and the word you wish to categorise. Otherwise Twitter counts these as two separate words, e.g. USE: #portrush NOT: # portrush.
  2. Hashtags can be anywhere within the tweet and even be part of it. – In this #sentence I am encouraging people to find me for the word sentence.
  3. You can have a short phrase as a hashtag as long as there are no spaces, e.g. #sunnytoday or #SaleNowOn. We would reccommend that you keep this to 2-4 words, as any more than that can become difficult to read without spaces. note: there is no preference over capitals – these can help break apart phrases.
  4. DONT use too many hashtags. This can put people off reading your posts and reduces the amount of useful information you can fit in your tweet.
  5. Make sure your hashtags are relevant – nothing will annoy your followers more than hashtags that dont relate at all to the topic of the tweet. It is good twitter etiquette to keep hashtags relating completely to your individual tweets.

In conclusion, hashtags are a fairly simple way to categorise your tweets and include you in twitter searches for topics, but be sure not to use too many and keep them relevant!