Why and How To Use HashTags in Twitter

on Aug 05, 2009

Twitter, undoubtedly is one of the easiest and the most under utilized social media tool. With Social Media being touted as the next wave of innovative and a poised tool for marketers to reach out to the relevant section of audience for a business online.

Being an Online Marketing company, we are always asked by clients, as to what are the best ways of leveraging a social network. How to best utilize a network to its best extent, to derive the maximum value out of it? To answer the same, at OMLogic we have taken the initiative to share our knowledge with the community.

What is Twitter?

Twitter is a social media tool which simply asks you to answer in 140 characters "what are you doing?". It has overtime evolved into what we now know as a Micro Blogging platform. Twitter is one of the most popular micro blogging platforms and is surely one of the powerful tools in social media.

Out of the various common features of twitter, which include retweet'ing (RT), Direct Messaging (DM) etc. one of the most interesting and helpful features is "HashTags" which is conveyed by the symbol: #

What is a Hashtag?

According to the official source: Hashtags are a community-driven convention for adding additional context and meta-data to your tweets. They’re like tags on Flickr, only added inline to your post. You create a hashtag simply by prefixing a word with a hash symbol: #hashtag.

Where can I find a Hashtag?

  • http://hashtags.org is the official resource to know and track the hashtags being used in conversations globally by tweeples
  • http://wthashtag.com/Main_Page is one of the most interesting ways of knowing hashtags, and what each of them means, this is one resource I really find useful, when it comes to understanding trends in twitter and establishing inferences to business objectives of branding for your business. Wthashtag, simply put is a user generated wiki of twitter hashtags being used globally

How to use a hashtag?

First, lets understand that hashtags are being followed by people, all across, so only add a hashtag if you think your tweet is adding value to the topic otherwise do not!

Hash tags are widely used while Live Blogging an event

This is something I have been doing for quite sometime now, while blogging some of the most major events in the Indian Industry.

Simply put, if you are adding value to a particular discussion/topic and want to talk about it, creating a trend which people can contribute in and follow, you can use a hashtag. Example if you are an online marketing company and want to talk about or share something on social media, you can use the hashtag: #socialmedia or #SMM

Advantages of using a hashtag?

There are several advantages of using a hashtag, let me list some of them down here:

  1. Creation of relevant community of followers on twitter
    • if you are talking about a topic and using a hashtag chances are that there are other people globally on twitter talking about the same, thus they become relevant into your domain of discussion, hence you can connect with them and create meaningful conversations
  2. Knowledge Dissemination
    • There is such plethora of knowledge flowing in on twitter, that not everything around is relevant to you/your business. Thus hashtags help you stay connected and updated with the right information which you can leverage to take your business forward
  3. Customer/ User feedback
    • Customer/ User feedback is an important aspect of hashtags, I have created rewarding partnerships with some of my followers on twitter and though we may be sitting across the globe, we talk through a common medium, and understand each other in 140 characters. The basis of all of this being our relevancy of the work domain, which we track through hashtags
  4. Brand equity tracking
    • As a business, your brand equity is surely one of the most important aspects which determines your credibility and a lot many aspects of your business for you. You can track the conversations happening about your brand on twitter using hashtags and following trends such as #followfriday seeing that how many clients/ users recommend your brand on twitter

These are some of the major ways which are affected by hashtags and can help you better connect with your clients and understand your brand equity, while tracking conversations in real time on twitter.

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