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Your Guide to Understanding How Hashtags Work on Twitter

Social media has taken the world by storm over the past decade and has become one of the premiere ways to grow your brand in the modern generation. One of the most popular social media platforms, Twitter, is an extremely valuable marketing tool if used correctly. But how can you grow your following on Twitter to build your brand?

One of the best ways to stand out to your target audience is by utilizing hashtags. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll go over why hashtags are helpful and the best ways to use them to grow your brand on Twitter.

Table Of Contents

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What are hashtags on Twitter?

What are hashtags on Twitter

A hashtag is a social media tool that utilizes the hash symbol (#) followed immediately by a keyword or phrase. Twitter originated the hashtag in 2007, and it has since grown to become one of the most useful tools to categorize tweets.

Using relevant hashtags on Twitter makes it easier for your target audience to discover you by enabling them to find your posts when searching for a hashtag that interests them.

The best way for creators to use hashtags is by placing the # symbol before relevant keywords related to their niche. You can place hashtags anywhere within a tweet. However, studies suggest it’s best to save them for the end.

Twitter found that adverts without a hashtag in the middle of their copy generate 23 percent more clicks.

In addition, hashtags don’t work with spaces or punctuation. Even if the key phrase you wish to hashtag involves multiple words, placing the words together works best. Twitter also recommends avoiding caps lock.

Aside from the text appearing like someone shouting, it also makes searching the hashtag more difficult.

How can I use Twitter hashtags to find great content?

How can I use Twitter hashtags to find great content

Hashtags are primarily used to group similar tweets together from a variety of profiles. By categorizing posts by topic, users on Twitter can more easily search for the type of content they want to find.

In essence, hashtags are mutually beneficial for both parties involved: users can easily find what interests them, and creators can guide their target audience directly to them.

One way users find great content on Twitter is by using hashtags in the search feature. People can search specific hashtags to find tweets relevant to the topics they want to read about.

In addition, users can choose to follow hashtags similarly to how they follow profiles. This allows any post with the followed hashtag to automatically appear on their feeds.

Aside from using the search feature, another way hashtags work on Twitter is when someone taps on them in a tagged tweet. The hashtag operates as a hyperlink and sends users to a page displaying other tweets that include the same hashtag.

From there, people can discover a variety of posts geared toward their unique interests.

How can I use Twitter hashtags to find people to follow?

How can I use Twitter hashtags to find people to follow

By searching for specific hashtags, Twitter users can easily discover new accounts to follow. People searching for content relevant to their interests can discover any tweet marked with that hashtag. From there, they become exposed to numerous posts related to the keyword.

Someone who discovers an engaging post this way may want to check out the account who posted it. If the profile has multiple similar posts to what that person is interested in, they’ll be likely to follow.

In fact, Twitter’s research discovered that engagement nearly doubles for accounts that use relevant hashtags.

Using hashtags also increases other forms of engagement. Twitter discovered that tweets with hashtags additionally lead to more clicks, retweets and replies. This is because people who discover posts and profiles with hashtags are looking for content specific to that niche.

How can I use Twitter hashtags to grow my following?

How can I use Twitter hashtags to grow my following

Since using the right hashtags can lead your target audience directly to your account, they are a fantastic tool to grow your following. However, there are some helpful tips and guidelines you can use to optimize the hashtags on your posts.

The most important rule for using hashtags is to be selective. While it may be tempting to include as many hashtags as you can think of, it’s best to limit yourself just to the most important keywords.

In fact, Twitter suggests best practice is to only use two hashtags on each post. Remember, the goal is to draw in a niche audience. Using too many tags dilutes the message.

There are multiple categories that make good ideas for hashtags. Depending on the post and your brand, you may want to tag events, places, themes or industry terms.

The key point is that the hashtags you choose should directly relate to the tweet, as well as your brand’s messaging.

You can also grow your following on Twitter by using trending hashtags. You can discover trending topics on Twitter itself or by using outside tools. Some of the best tools to find trending hashtags include Hashtagify, Trendsmap and RiteTag.

However, the goal remains to find a hashtag that’s both trendy and relevant to your content. Using a trending hashtag that has nothing to do with your post only devalues your credibility.

Can you follow hashtags on Twitter?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a great way to follow hashtags on Twitter like you can on Instagram. The best thing you can do is the following:

  1. Open Twitter and login to your account
  2. Use the search feature to search for a hashtag like #socialmedia
  3. Bookmark the search results page to your browser bookmarks. 

It’s not an ideal option, but it will give you a quick way to return to the hashtag search so you can see new posts on the specific hashtag.

Is there a Twitter hashtag search?

Yes and no.  There isn’t a specific search feature for hashtags on Twitter, but you can use the main Twitter search and just search for a hashtag like #beachpics. When you run the search, you’ll see the results for all posts tagged with that hashtag.

What hashtags can I use to get started?

What hashtags can I use to get started

Now that you have a more thorough understanding of what hashtags are and why they are helpful, what tags can you use to get started? Depending on you or your company’s brand, the answer changes.

However, below are some examples of RiteTag’s top three hashtags on Twitter for a variety of categories.

Movie hashtags on Twitter

  1. #movie
  2. #bro
  3. #watching

Viral hashtags on Twitter

  1. #video
  2. #viral
  3. #post

Influencer hashtags on Twitter

  1. #influencer
  2. #marketing
  3. #influencermarketing

History hashtags on Twitter

  1. #history
  2. #blackhistory
  3. #president

Reading hashtags on Twitter

  1. #reading
  2. #book
  3. #time

Work hashtags on Twitter

  1. #work
  2. #harassment
  3. #women

Although these examples are not all-encompassing, they should help get you thinking about what keywords are currently trending on Twitter for certain topics. More than anything, it’s critical that the hashtags you use are both popular and relate directly to your message.

For example, while #harassment might be trending on Twitter, it may be wiser to pick a different trending tag from the list for a work-related hashtag more relevant to your Tweet.

When used correctly, hashtags are a powerful tool to attract your target audience and grow your following. In the modern age where social media dominates, correctly using hashtags as a marketing tool can help your brand stand out and grow.

Although using hashtags is just one element of mastering social media marketing, the # symbol should not be overlooked.

What are your favorite hashtags on Twitter? Let us know in the comments, along with any tips you have for optimizing hashtags to grow your brand.