Believe it or not, there are some “rules” to using hashtags, which you’ll see people violating all the time. No, no one will set the Twitter police on you if you don’t follow them, but you’re far more likely to annoy people and your Tweets will be less easy to read.
Follow these guidelines for best results:
• No more than two hashtags per Tweet
• Write your content first, then add the hashtag
• Capitalize each word in a multi-word hashtag (e.g. “#TipsForBloggers”)
• Make it relevant
Section 7: Twitter
A hashtag is a word with the number sign affixed to the front of it, like this: “#hashtag”. If you insert a hashtag into your Tweet, it doesn’t matter who you follow and who follows you: everyone on Twitter following that particular hashtag (running a search for it) will be served up your Tweet.
How do you find them? Your Twitter page will display what’s trending in your left-hand menu – and the first things you’ll see in the list are currently-hot hashtags.
Hashtags on Twitter can be single words (e.g. “#NHL”) or multiple words grouped together (e.g. “#BlackFriday”).
Think of hashtags as “keywords” and their power will become apparent. You can create your own hashtag by taking a highly specific keyword you want your potential customers to see (a phrase they’ll be searching by). For example, if they wanted to see what people are posting about Kwanzaa rather than about Christmas, they might type “#Kwanzaa” into Twitter’s search box. If you have been busy typing Tweets with the hashtag “#Kwanzaa” within the last few hours, they will be served up your Tweets.
Your chances of being seen directly relate to (a) how recently your Tweets were made (b) how many other Tweets were made within the same time period. Obviously the hotter the topic, the less your chances of being seen, if you’re only posting about #Kwanzaa every four hours or so.
There is a downside if you keep Tweeting non-stop? You’ll annoy all your other followers, not because of the subject matter so much as the flood of repetitive Tweets.
Finding More Hashtags – Don’t just rely on the smattering of hashtags appearing in Twitter to find out what’s trending– make it a point to check in with and follow hashtag dedicated sites such as hashtags.org (@hashtags).
Hashtags.org not only allows you to search for hashtags – it shows you how hot that hashtag is in real-time. For example, if searched for “#Christmas” in April, you might see Hashtags.org analytics like this:
On the other hand, if you search Hashtags.org for “#Insomnia” at two in the morning, it’s going to look more like this:
From data such as this, you can instantly see that the best time to Tweet about insomnia is between twelve midnight and two a.m.
Knowing a hashtag’s peak daily period can be invaluable. It removes guesswork and allows you to Tweet when the most fervent and largest audience will see it.
Before you create your own, find out if there’s an existing, similar hashtag for that topic. For example, if you were thinking of sending out Tweets for #TurkeyGiblets and everyone else is searching for “#Turkey” you may miss out on attracting the views you want. (On the other hand, you’ll dominate #TurkeyGiblets, assuming anyone wants to know about them. A Hashtags.org search will show you if anyone does!)