When should I use a hashtag on Twitter?

When should I use a hashtag on Twitter?

I have been using Twitter for over 6 years now, and it still amazes me how many people really don’t get the #hashtag thing or when to use them. So here goes…. #hashtags are a great way to bring all the tweets for a specific topic or event into 1 search result. Here is a good example…..

There was an event called Tech 4 Start Up.. There were 5 or 6 speakers throughout the day. They also had a hashtag for the event – #tech4sub. So people could tweet about the event whilst they were there, and people could follow all the tweets even if they were not present – simply by following the #hashtag #tech4sub. So you can see all the tweets of a particular event or topic in 1 place.

So hashtags are a great way for others to see all the results from anyone taking part in an event or specific topic. It is also a great way to find new people to follow as you can find likeminded individuals..

You dont own a hashtag like a domain name. Now here is the thing.. If you use search.twitter.com and search the keyword xfactor you will get the results for all tweets with xfactor and #xfactor in… If you search on the keyword #xfactor you will only get the results for the tweets with #xfactor in.

People also use #hashtags for fun. They may end their tweet with a comment or a phrase with no spaces in between. To make it look like something other than a bad spelling day they add a #hashtag before it… So someone might say…

having a picnic and got totally soaked today. #timefornoahtobuildtheark

So there you have it. There is no need to add the #hashtag to pretty much every single word. Use it sparingly and think about how you can start a #hashtag around your area of expertise for example. So @mediacoach Alan Stevens has a regular PR Clinic that he runs. He invites in questions and answers them all with the #hashtag – #prclinic.

You may also want to take part in a very popular #hashtag event.. So for example the rugby world cup which had a hashtag of #rwc2011. Now I am not telling you to hashtag spam the word, that is not very sensible. But if you are involved in products related to rugby, then join in the conversation. But by adding the hashtag #rwc2011 all the people that are involved with that conversation will also see you taking part – this is a major way to gain more visibility, exposure and will lead to you getting more followers.


  1. treeborker says

    Are there any sites that show trends in hashtags? I am trying to research business trends on twitter. Thanks. 

  2. says

    Huw Sayer (@huwsayer) has started a great idea for promoting Norwich/ Norfolk by using  #visitnorwich on relevant tweets – hoping to get a whole community joining in to promote our wonderful county.

  3. says

    I’m guilty of the latter ie having fun with it, here’s a tweet from me earlier:

    @RobertaWard true-they want to tell u bout poss changes but fail to even HINT at what the changes are then frankly #imnotgonnawastemytime

    but now it has been explained to me properly i will be using it in the future for business purposes. Thanks again Mark :) #haveagreatday  <<<<<< see what i did there.