Hashtags explained

February 21, 2014, by TweetChan, category Twitter Tips

What are hashtags?

Hashtags are a very innovative way for communities on twitter to communicate on specific topics. The usage of the service is quite simple, where should a member of twitter desire to open up a topic for discussion or sharing, one would simply type ‘#topic’ and post it as a tweet. All the user’s followers would then be able to see the tweet and respond on it, including the ‘#topic’ in their responses. The ‘topic’ can only be one hundred and forty character’s long, including symbols, punctuations and white spaces. So what is all that for if members can simply tweet each other and expect a response?

That is where hashtags make the distinction from normal conversations, they make the conversations with similar tags visible upon a search on the ‘topic’, for example, if I was driving across the golden gate bridge and witnessed a terrible accident, my twitter update would be something line “Terrible accident on golden gate bridge, one car hanging over bridge railing, two feared dead #goldengateaccident”.

My twitter followers would then respond with relevant questions, while others who witnessed the same incident comment on the rescue efforts and so on. Should the incident draw the public’s attention, the hashtag will ‘go viral’ and get significant online attention. Now, let’s see how to use hashtags on twitter for events or conferences.

How to use the service for Events and Conferences

First of all, let’s say you have a conference on the importance of incorporating online research for high schools. The first step is to search for catchy and intuitive words to use for your hashtags, for example ‘#modernresearch’.

There is no guarantee that the keyword you searched is unique, so it’s always a good idea to search it on twitter to find out whether someone else has it. If it is in use, try some other catchy words, try and make them short and unique, like the inclusion of symbols.

Encourage all conference participants to follow your twitter handle, and once you have established a reasonable quorum, post the introductory tweet with the hashtag included, for example, “Hey guys, thanks for all your help, the conference for Online Research in High Schools in Ready to Roll, feedback on #modernresearch”.

Encourage the conference participants to post updates on twitter on all matters relating to the conference. If you want to include participants who will be reading up on the conference outcome, ask them to follow the conference live on twitter, which will mean that you have to post updates as they happen during the event.

Another way on how to use hashtags on twitter to add value to the event is to show the tweets live at the conference presentation, which can be accomplished using a computer with an internet connection, and a projected screen. You can use features on certain websites to prevent hashtag hijacking during the event.

Some of these website present products are like projectify, visible_tweets, refiner, tweetbeam and twitterful.

Hashtags have become very useful way thanks to the latest communication technology. Businesses are now adapting this technology to communicate with their clients.

Now, a bit slower

Internet users with only basic knowledge of social networks should have hashtags explained to them. The hashtag is a key represented by the symbol (#). This is a symbol popularized by Twitter that helps users to organize information. This lets other users easily search for tweets. Though it is immensely popular, not many users comprehend the hashtag’s importance. When you search for or click the hashtag, you will see various tweets with the exact hashtag along with persons with similar interests. For instance, if you search for #orange, you will likely find tweets that concern the fruit along with the service provider.

Hashtags can be a small businesses’ wet dream (sorry about that, just trying to keep your attention level up). For instance, the initial gain is that they let you discover your target audience. When people search for particular terms or content, you may identify them if that content is linked with your business. This lets you target your marketing towards them as chances are immense they will be interested. This saves time as you no longer market your service or product to persons who may not be interested. Additionally, hashtags let you send numerous new persons to your content.

The second gain is that tweets that contain hashtags attain twice as much activity as tweets without them. Additionally, tweets receive more than 20 percent higher engagement if they contain two hashtags. Hence, they help to drive traffic to your product page within Twitter.

The third gain is that hashtags affect a company’s sales. Nearly 70 percent of Twitter’s users are likely to purchase from brands that they follow. In addition, nearly 80 percent of Twitter’s users recommend brands that they follow. Hence, utilizing this device may directly boost your company’s profits.

There are some methods to utilize hashtags to heighten their efficiency.

  1. Create your hashtag. Making your own hashtag may encourage your followers to use it as it is currently unique. They may share your information with other users, heightening its reach.
  2. Search for conversations specific to business. This helps you learn. For instance, if you search for #small business, you will find resources along with news based on small or upcoming businesses. The information might be bloated as the term is general, but you may frequently find inspiring content that helps to improve your business.
  3. Use them for contests. For instance, you may launch a contest and make the entry requirement that users should tweet with a particular hashtag. This boosts the traffic that leads to your page, depending on the contest’s prize or prizes. If it is popular enough, your hashtag may even appear on Twitter’s home page, heightening your business’s popularity.
  4. Follow others. It is necessary to follow persons who use hashtags in which you might be interested. For instance, If you sell cat supplies, you may follow cat lovers through searching #cat.
  5. Host and attend Tweetchats. This is where people chat about a particular topic within a particular period. Most times, persons within the chat will follow you if you offer interesting information.

With hashtags explained, there is virtually no reason to avoid them. In fact, there is ever reason to utilize them.

So, what do you think ?