How to Use Hashtags on Twitter and Rock Your Social Media World

6 min read
Jul 11, 2016
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How to use hashtags on twitter

#YOLO, #throwbackthursday, #summer, #chillout, #nofilter, #nocomment.

Hashtags are everywhere. We use them on Instagram, Facebook (are they even working there?) and on Twitter. Hashtag this, hashtag that.

What is a hashtag? It’s any word or phrase with the # symbol immediately in front of it. This symbol turns the word into a link that makes it easier to find and follow a conversation about that topic.

If you decide to use Twitter for business, befriend with hashtags because they are here to stay. And they should be a big part of your social media marketing.

Here are killer ideas for how to use hashtags on Twitter. I hope they will help you rock your social media world.

1. Use hashtags to get more attention to your tweets

If you use Twitter for business you probably want as many people as possible to find it. A good strategy is to use hashtags that are popular so people can find your tweets when searching for content through this hashtag.

But always use hashtags that are relevant to what you tweet about. You don’t want people to judge your Twitter activity having a split personality.

The other thing is that when somebody already follows you, they don’t always read your whole tweet (I know it’s only 140 characters but still). By taking a look at hashtag they immediately know what your content covers and they quickly decide if they want to click on it.

2. Use real–time marketing to watch the trending hashtags

Good marketers have found success in the use of real–time marketing. On Twitter you can use real–time marketing to watch the trending hashtags and make it an opportunity to meaningfully contribute to discussions. This way you can be seen by a bigger crowd and maybe create some relationships on Twitter.

You can also use Trendsmap, which is a navigational tool that allows you to look up the trending hashtags by location. This is actually fun to watch – you can see how people on different continents discuss different events online. You can use that information to geo–target your messaging.

As I’m writing this I can see that in Newfoundland there’s #nltraffic trending, which is no surprise since there is “moose on the loose” and also car accident at the same time.

There’s also #wade hashtags trending all over U.S. I don’t know much about basketball, but the first headline I saw on the Internet is “Dwyane Wade intends to sign with Chicago Bulls.”

That’s how you can find relevant hashtags to your business and contribute in discussion. You don’t have to immediately sell things. You can express your opinion on important events and at the same time show your followers that you know what’s happening in the world. I think it makes your Twitter profile more fresh. And if you do it in a funny way, you’re getting close to become a Twitter superstar in your industry.

3. Find discussions in a particular subject and join them

Hashtags in particular subjects don’t have to be trending. When you want to read more about the HeForShe campaign, you just use the hashtag #heforshe and you can read what’s new in this subject. That’s what I did and I found “Spice Girls” Wannabe video remake for gender equality.


The same applies when you want to find something about your favorite businessman or a company. Use the hashtag and read the stream. It’s also easy to join the discussions or make a new connection with a person who is also fascinating about the same thing.

As for business, you search for news from your industry and join the discussions. One tweet, two tweets and you start having a relationship with your potential customers.

4. Create your own hashtags to make your company more popular

You can create your own hashtag with hopes that it will become popular and bring you some fame. If you encourage customers to talk about your brand, make sure you have a great product and service. Otherwise you just tempt the fate.

And then a hashtag becomes a bashtag. Here’s a quick story about a hashtag that went wrong.

The most popular use of hashtags that turned against a company was McDonald’s and its hashtag #McDStories. Since storytelling is the best word of mouth, McDonald’s wanted to encourage its customers to share some heart–warming stories about their experience.

Instead, the hashtag attracted snarky tweeps and McDonald’s detractors who turned it into #McDHorrorStories. It looked something like this:

– These #McDStories never get old, kinda like a box of McDonald’s 10 piece Chicken McNuggets left in the sun for a week.

McDonald’s had the privilege of having their hashtag promoted on the Twitter homepage, but they quickly realized this wasn’t helping their brand and they pulled the campaign within two hours. As you know, crowdsourced campaigns are hard to control. The #McDStories hashtag still has its “promoters" but they mostly tweet about how it all went wrong.

In my opinion you have to have bad luck if your own campaign turns against you. I hope you’ll never regret saying: “You know what we need? A hashtag that will engage people in our new feature…”

5. Use hashtags in contest

Hashtags are a must when you organize a contest on Twitter. Or should I say, when you’re organizing a popular contest. It can be a photo contest or best answer contest that require to tag a friend so that campaign spread as far and wide as possible.

Hashtags keep your contest organized, track its participants activity and make it easy to choose a winner. Participants can also check other people's work.

In a hashtag, it’s best if you use the name of your company. And in your contest guidelines, instruct others to use the hashtag in their tweets about the contest.

6. Use hashtags in your bio

You can allow yourself to be search–able to those with similar interests and industry. You keep use hashtags in your bio on Twitter. Also include a link to your website, blog and other social media sites.

Here's a screen from my Twitter. Check out my bio: how I use hashtags and how I link to my website.

Twitter bio

Use of hashtags Twitter

At the beginning of your journey with Twitter you probably wondered what is this prefix symbol (#) that people are using. Now, you not only know a lot about hashtags but you’re also ready to create some killer hashtags on your own.

Just remember to make it look and sound good, and don’t make a whole tweet consists of hashtags. Also be up to date with the hashtags that are so irritating people would love to retire them.

You don’t want to sound annoying on your Twitter, right? #JustSaying.

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