What's The Point Of All These Hashtags?

December 17, 2012
What can hashtags do for you? A hashtag is a unique strategy for categorizing messages on Twitter and is seen as a very powerful marketing tool by businesses. The # symbol is precedes the tag followed by one or more keywords that will properly lead individuals to conversations and discussions pertaining to a specific topic or theme. There are several advantages that come with using hashtags. These can be used for casual or business purposes to increase awareness, as well as improve your reputation online. You should also learn the proper ways to make a hashtag for online success. "Why are hashtags so important?," you might ask. In micro-blogging community as vast as Twitter, the hashtag is what will collate all ideas under one thread so that you get a more targeted user experience, instead of just running through thousands of random tweets and wasting time. Here's how you can make hashtags work for you.

1. Use it to start a topic or discussion.

Hashtags are generally created by Twitter users to talk about certain topics and issues. You can talk about different things and the hashtag will arrange the topics accordingly to make these easier for online users to follow and locate. For example, you can make the hashtag #ChristmasShopping to talk about wishlists and the best places to shop for Christmas. Several companies and groups also make hashtags to drive more relevant audiences to one area, such as #2012USElections and #BlackFriday. You can track how well your hashtag is doing online by running it through an analytics tool that will tell you how many are tweeting it, how many impressions it's making, the related hashtags being used and who the top posters are. Let's check out #BlackFriday, for instance. See how the tweets are up on the days leading to Friday and how it somewhat dies down after.

2. Use it to start a competition.

Hashtags can be used to hold a contest on the internet and create wider market for your brand. You can use hashtags to invite more people to join and become part of the discussions. People can use the search function on Twitter to look for relevant hashtags that they might be interested in. You can indicate the mechanics of the game as well as the prizes to be won.

3. Host and join chats.

Tweetchats or Twitter chats will increase your follower numbers and boost awareness. You can find hashtags that cover the same people who will provide better insight for your company or business. You can also ask or answer questions and get information quickly by joining these discussion platforms. People who use your hashtag can be included in the chat stream on Twitter. You will meet other people who share the same interests and potential business contacts and partners. Is a tweet chat getting enough attention? Here's a look at how the community responded to the chat #KhloeTwitterChat by American celebrity Khloe Kardashian (@KhloeKardashian) on December 13, 2012.

4. Get information.

Hashtags on Twitter are rich sources of information where you can learn the latest updates and issues pertaining to your industry. You can meet some mentors and coaches who can guide and teach you a number of business approaches and strategies to boost your own. You can also find links to blogs and videos that will supplement other informative tools on the internet.

5. Use it to Arrange Tweets.

Using hashtags will help you organize your posts accordingly. You can easily find topics that relate to your industry, as well as create hashtags for social or casual purposes. You can also find related hashtags that might discuss similar topics. Be sure to check for the existence of similar hashtags before creating your own.

6. Gain more followers.

Creating hashtags on Twitter will improve your following to follower ratio. It?s ideal to keep the figures positive so making the right and relevant hashtags will make you more visible to your target audience and entice others to follow you online as well. In short, your 'followers' total should be more than your 'following' total, as this means people are subscribing to what you have to say online. Determine the proper ways to grab attention and invite online users into the conversation without looking like a spammer. Overall, whether you're looking to grow your business through Twitter or just want to maximize your socializing opportunities, hashtags are a powerful way to connect with would-be customers and like-minded people. Read about What To Never Do With Hashtags to make sure you're on the right path.

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