Often times many people randomly throw in hashtags when they tweet. It’s as if they believe the only way to communicate and get results with Twitter is by using hashtags.

We see them every where. On posters, in commercials, on billboards and we even hear them in our every day english language. #Justsayin.

So what are hashtags, when should we use them, do we even need to? This post will be you guide when it comes to hashtags on Twitter.

What are Hashtags?

Hashtags are nothing more than a word, sequence of words or letters with a pound sign (#) in front of them. Ie. #smm #socialmediamarketing #twitter #TwitterMarketing

Twitter defines hashtags as: “The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It was created organically by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages.”

What are Hashtags used For?

At the time of this post, there are about 5,587 tweets sent per second. With all this information flying past in the Twitter News Feed, hashtags are used to help Twitter users find relevant information quickly and efficiently.

Hashtags are created by Twitter users. Any user can create one by adding it to their tweet. No one owns them.

4 Ways Hashtags Can Be Used

1. Group Activities.
When there’s a certain group of people together and they want to share tweets among themselves, a hashtag is used. This could be a mastermind, coaching group, college class, associations, conferences, virtual summits, Twitter chats, etc.

Keep in mind this doesn’t mean the tweets are private. They are public for the entire world to see. It’s just a way for people of like minds to find each other tweets that are relevant to the group activity and communicate with one another about that specific activity.

Let me give you an example.

My good friend Pam Moore, a Forbes Top 10 Social Media Influencer CEO of Marketing Nutz, hosts a weekly Twitter Chat called the #GetRealChat every Tuesday at 9pm Eastern time.

People from around the globe tweet about the real truth on social business, marketing, media, leadership, ROI, relationships and life using the hashtag #GetRealChat.

2. Events.
I love going to top notch events in my industry like Social Media Marketing World or Experts Academy. One of the main reasons I go is to network with colleagues and meet potential clients.

What many people do not realize is there are two ways to network successfully these days. Being at the event is ONE way and the other way is networking online.

Those who are master networkers, do both.

People attending the event are listening to presenters tweeting out quotes, taking pictures, shooting video and sharing all of this information on Twitter.

In March of 2015, I was at Social Media Marketing World. According to Lumi Catch there were 73,554 Total Tweets using the hashtag #SMMW15 (this was the event’s hashtag) and 14,929 contributors.

By using the event’s hashtag, people at the event in San Diego and those who choose to purchase the online streaming pass were all talking about the event and to each other on Twitter.

3. Search.
So many people are creating content these days, it’s become a noisy marketplace. One way to get your tweets in front of the right people is by using relevant hashtags. This allows someone to see what people are talking about on Twitter by searching via hashtag.

According to Statisic Brain, there are 2.1 Billion Twitter Search Engine queries a day. People are actively looking for relevant content.

If you create a blog post like this one you would want to use hashtags like #smm (this stands for social media marketing), #socialmedia, #twitter and/or #marketing.

A great resource for find great relevant hashtags to use is RiteTag.com.

4. Expressing Emotion.
Often times people will express how they feel when composing their tweet, e.g. #blessed, #smh (shaking my head), #gratitude, etc.

This doesn’t really help you get found in search. It’s more of a way to display you personality more than anything else.

The Main Reason to Use Hashtags

Thanks to Buddy Media’s studies, we know tweets with hashtags get twice as much engagement than those tweets without hashtags. They analyzed user engagement from 320+ Twitter handles of the world’s biggest brands.

More engagement means your brand and message get more reach, visibility and impressions and who doesn’t want that?

How many hashtags should you use?

That’s a great question. The answer is one to two.

Their data shows Tweets with one or two hashtags have a 21% higher engagement than those with three or more hashtags.

What Happens With Too Much Hash?

Just like a drug, you can overdose on too many hashtags. I don’t want to see you with tanking engagement rates and failing impressions. Here’s what will happen if you do not heed my advice on the power of the hash.

  1. It distracts from your key message
  2. Looks like spam
  3. Uses up a lot of your valuable 140 character space
  4. You look like a tool

Your Next Steps

By understanding and following how to harness the power of hashtags on Twitter, you will be able to reach more of your target audience, grow a targeted following faster and build your email list. Start using one to two relevant hashtags with each tweet you publish.

If you’d like to learn how to use Twitter to increase your influence, impact and income, join this “free” training called the 3 Forgotten Twitter Strategies that Kill Your Brand.

By the end of this free training you will have the time-proven process to build your email list without wasting thousands of dollars on advertising.

If you give me less than 60 minutes and you will never be the same person again.

If you’re an Author, Coach, Speaker, Educator/Trainer, Business Owner, Marketer or Consultant…You’re Closer to Building an Email List with Twitter Than You Realize.

Register for this free Twitter training now.

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