Once you’ve gotten started using Twitter, before long you’ll come across what’s known as a hashtag. That’s when you see something in a tweet that has a # prefix. (The # is a hash symbol, hence the term hash tag or, more commonly known as a, hashtag.)
- E.g., if you’ve seen tweets related to our posts, you may have noticed some of them had #kayolhope in them.
When you first once them, it might take a moment to grasp the purpose of this however, once you “got it,” you’ll realized it’s not as complicated as it may seems.
A hashtag is simply a way for people to search for tweets that have a common topic. For instance, if you type #SocialMedia (or #socialmedia or #SocIalMeDiA, because it’s not case-sensitive) into the Search Twitter box at the top of any Twitter page and hit Enter, you’ll get a list of tweets related to Social Media. What you won’t get are tweets that say, “What is Social Media?” since “socialmedia” isn’t preceded by the hashtag.
Note: Your search results will give you 3 options for filtering the list. The default is Top. You may also show a list of All tweets with that search term or only those from people you follow.
The good thing about the hashtag is that if someone wrote a tweet without putting the phrase SocialMedia in the main message, it will still show up in your search because of the tag. E.g. “How to use Hashtags in your Twitter #SocialMedia marketing?”
Searching using the tag, someone wrote a tweet about such as Social Media without may not show up in your results, even if Social Media appears in the text., but not always.
In a way, hashtags allow you to create communities of people interested in the same topic by making it easier for them to find and share info related to it.
Where do hashtags come from?
Hashtags are NOT an official function by Twitter rather any user can create one simply by adding it to their own tweet.
When Hashtags first started being used, it was a very organic process that worked simply because of a group mindset that people like to categorize topics and this was one way to make it easier to do so.
Now that they are so common, they really only show up spontaneously if there’s a breaking news item. Otherwise, they’re used to promote, praise, brands (#Nike), events (#KimboSlice), tv shows (#TheWalkingDead). and anything else people want to discuss (#bacon).
There are a several methods to using hashtags effectively:
- Group Activities.These are things like college classes, conferences, clubs, associations, or online events, where there’s a certain group of people who want to share information among themselves through tweets (although be aware they’re still available to the general public).
- Online Conventions.These are usually short terms or abbreviations that have become common ways to express certain concepts. Some examples are #shoutout, #nowplaying, #tbt (Throwback Thursday).
- These are little extras people add to their tweets to express the way they feel or make a comment about what they just tweeted, e.g. #blessed, #mustread, #smh (shaking my head).
Note: Even though We’ve been mentioning about hashtags in regards to Twitter, it is important to note that these can be used with other social media sites, including Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Facebook.
How do I create my own hashtag?
The first thing you would do is a basic Twitter search to see if a related term already exists. These days, odds are it does. Perhaps the only reason you would need to create a new one nowadays would be for the group activities category and due to the 140-character limit on Twitter, you’ll need to keep the hashtag moderately short, while still making it specific so other people aren’t likely to use it for another purpose.
Why doesn’t my hashtag show up in searches?
This is probably the most common question we get about hashtags. There are a couple likely issues but keep in mind that not all tweets are indexed. The first reason has to do with whether there’s an issue with the hashtag itself. Twitter’s Help page explains some of the problems you can run into—for instance if a hashtag is made up entirely of numbers, Twitter doesn’t make it searchable. But, in most cases, this is NOT the problem.
Instead, the problem is actually with Twitter’s own search feature. This Help article explains some of the factors that may be affecting you as well. For instance, maybe you’ve got your page set to Top Results instead of All or maybe your tweets are protected.
Twitter used to publicize that they only index the last two weeks’ worth of tweets in total. But even if your tweets fall in that time frame, yours may not show up. You can try to contact Twitter Support to see if they can help you, especially if you’re using a hashtag to help people follow along during an event or for a specific use like a class ID, but no guarantees…
Need help from an expert in Twitter Social Media? We are skilled Social Media Marketing Mangers & Social Media Consultants that help get the most out of Twitter for you!
Do you use Social Media Marketing (SMM) to help grow your online presence? Have you got any Social Media Marketing (SMM) tips and tricks to share with other business owners out there? If at any time you get stuck or need further assistance than feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.