Hashtag is a word that did not exist long ago, but with Twitter coming around in 2007, it has taken over our daily conversations.  Thanks to Twitter, we now have the word hashtag in the dictionary, but what is it and how do people use it to build business on social media.  Do you use it on Facebook? Can I add a thousand hashtags to get more visibility to my posts?  We will cover that and more here.

What is a Hashtag?

According to the definition on Wikipedia, a hashtag is a type of metadata tag used on social media and microblogging sites to make it easier for users to find messages with a specific theme or content.

In other words…

We use hashtags as a filing type of system on social media.  While hashtags were originally made by Twitter in 2007, they’re now used across many social media platforms, including Facebook and Instagram.  Let’s dive a little bit more into why hashtags are great, and how they work on these major platforms.

What Makes Hashtags so Awesome?

Hashtags are easily found and accessible on Twitter and now on other social media platforms.  They are easy to learn, flexible, and work with users’ regular behaviors instead of forcing anyone to have to learn something new.  They work on all devices, including mobile.

Almost a decade after the creation of the word, it still thrives and will likely, forever.  We even use the word “Hashtag” in our face to face conversations to emphasize a statement.  When hashtags are used properly, it is a great way for individuals and brands to make posts more visible and increase engagement. 

Hashtags are often used to unite conversations from around the world…

  • Event Hashtags – #SB50 #WorldSeries #Debate2020
  • Disasters – #PrayForHaiti #HurricaneAndrew
  • Holidays – #ValentinesDay #Christmas
  • General Interests – #ChocolateLovers #WinterWonderland
  • Popular Hashtags – #MotivationMonday #SundayFunday

It is vital to use hashtags sparingly and ONLY when they add value to your posts or brand.  By using them too much, it can be confusing and just plain annoying. 

How Hashtags Work on Twitter

Twitter hashtags tie conversations with users into one stream.  Meaning, it lumps several conversations into one designated area. If Twitter users who otherwise are not connected can talk about the same topic and will show up together in the same stream. 

Most of the good stuff (popular) will show up in the center of the stream.  You can view the hashtags in a couple of different options like Live, News, Photos, Videos, and More Options.

  • Top:  A stream of tweets using that specific hashtag that have seen the most engagement – which, in other words, mean it’s a highly engaged tweet, a tweet by an influencer or a brand with a lot of followers
  • Latest/Live:  This changes depending on if the hashtag is currently being used.  If it is being used, it will be Live.  The Live stream view of people tweeting using that hashtag at that moment.  The best view for Twitter Chats.  After the storm of hashtags has settled, it will be Latest. 
  • Accounts:  This will highlight all accounts that are associated with the hashtag.  If you or your brand is associated with this hashtag then you will want to make sure to add this in your profile.
  • News:  A live stream of tweets from publishers and other designated news sources on Twitter.
  • Photos:  A collage of photos included in tweets using that specific hashtag.  By hovering over the photo, you can have the option of liking, retweeting, or replying to the person who posted the picture.  You can easily open the tweet by clicking on the photo.
  • Videos:  A stream of tweets using the hashtag that have videos in them.
  • More Options:  This is a drop down menu that has a few great options to use and how to view you hashtag stream, “People Who Follow Me” & “Near You”.

How to Use Hashtags on Twitter

Want to get involved in a trending topic of conversation?  Using hashtags on twitter is as simple as publishing a tweet from a public account that includes that hashtag.  It’s as simple as that.  Anyone who does a search for the hashtag will be able to find your tweet.  There are a couple of ways to search for hashtags with third party apps and on the Twitter platform. 

If you want to find something more specific then make sure to utilize Twitter Advanced Search Option. 

Twitter Hashtag

What Hashtags are Trending on Twitter?

On your main screen on Twitter, you will see What’s Trending.  These hashtags will normally be trending hashtags from scratch.  You can find this on the left hand of your home screen.  By default, it will pull up all trending hashtags by your current location.  You can choose to see what’s trending in a different location by easily clicking on “Change”.

Twitter’s “Trending Topics” will only let you see 10 topics.  You can widen your trending hashtag search by going into the Advanced Search to browse tweets, or a third-party apps