If you don’t understand Twitter hashtags, you are not alone. I can’t begin to explain them in a single blog, so I’m going to give you some examples and information, and then we’ll go from there. Here’s the wikipedia definition.
If you’re like me when I was a twitter-newbie — that doesn’t help much. How do I know what hashtag to use? What the heck is metadata or microblogging? Here’s the hashtag scoop — in plain farm girl talk. A hashtag is much the same as the name you write on a file folder that you put in your file drawer. You don’t ask anyone else how to organize — you need to write the name on that folder so you can find it. In Twitter, you pretend that someone else is looking for that item in your file drawer — what would you name the file folder that you put that item in? That’s your hashtag.
Why are hashtags important? Because according to Internet Live stats, there are about 6000 tweets per second (on average), which makes about 350,000 per minute! If you check the link above, you can actually see how many tweets have been tweeted today! Enough about numbers. With 6000 tweets per second happening in twitter, if you want people to see your tweet you have to catalog it with a hashtag so people can find it. For example, a common hashtag in the Pilates world is #Pilates. No matter what you say in your tweet, anyone searching Twitter could find your tweet if “#Pilates” was included in your 140 characters.
Here’s a quick recap!
- In a tweet you have 140 characters to say what you want to say. If you want to include a hashtag, it has to be within the 140 character limit.
- A hashtag is a hashtag because it has a “#” preceeding the word(s)
- You are not limited to how many hashtags you can have in one tweet. If you want to have three hashtags, you can do that, as long as you don’t go over 140 characters. i.e. #Pilates #teaser #movement
- You can also make up your own hashtags! #DoaLittleDance #MakesMeHappy You will just want to make sure that you have another hashtag that helps others find your tweet, and then you can get creative with a second hashtag!
- Depending on what app / device you are using for Twitter, possible hashtags might display as you are typing them. When I am using my iPad and the Twitter app, if I start to type a hashtag, the app will display possible hashtags for me to use. When I’m using HootSuite, that doesn’t happen.
- You don’t have to have a twitter account set up to explore using twitter hashtags. You can go to twitter.com even if you don’t have an account, and use the search box to try hashtags that interest you. #Pilates #healthy recipes #MindfulMovement
Now for real life! Rivercity Pilates is a client of Farm Girl Marketing. To look for content for them, I follow two hashtags (#Pilates, and #Inspiration). When I say I follow the hashtags, I either search Twitter for them, or I search using a Twitter help app, such as HootSuite or TweetDeck. But that’s a subject for another blog! If you have any comments or questions, be sure an enter them below. There’s little tiny print with a link to leave a comment below!