Some people take to Twitter like a duck to water whilst others find it very confusing and, being limited to just 160 characters, take some time to learn how to condense their messages or “Tweets”.

However, whether you are the confused or the adept, many people do not understand the significance of #Hashtags.  We’ve all heard of them but apart from colouring words in the Twitter blue what are they really for?

Early use of the hashtag

For those old enough to remember chat IRC, back in the late 80’s hashtags were used in messages to collate groups of pictures, messages or videos into categories.

Then, in 2007 the hashtag again became popular when #sandiegofire appeared right at the end of every message (or Tweet) that Nate Ritter published on Twitter about wild fire progress in San Diego, California where he lived.

As time passed, many social media platforms including Instagram, Facebook and Google+ revised the hashtag as a method of easier communication for their subscribers.

Effective usage

If you look to the left of your UK account on Twitter you will see United Kingdom Trends and marketing directors/managers keep an eye on these to gain insight into the most popular conversations taking place on social networks.

 

For example; on March 5th 2013 the top conversation trending on Twitter for the year was about Manchester United being knocked out of the Champions League when they were defeated by Real Madrid (2-1)

 

When a word preceded by a hashtag appears many times in a short period, it will start to trend.  The significance of this is that all subscribers will see the trends meaning that the Tweets get a much wider audience and therefore the probability that many more people will notice the messages.

 

Effective use of hashtags in online marketing can yield many benefits if the correct hashtags are matched to relevant content.

 

Tools to help you make the most of hashtags

There are a variety of tools available to find the best hashtags to use as well as analytical tools to monitor your campaigns.

 

There are even tools that will send Tweets out for you and schedule the timing of them.  Once set up and running all you have to do is look at the results.

 

 

If you would like to know more about the power of hashtags get in touch.  You are really missing out on a major boost to your marketing efforts if you are not using hashtags and Twitter.  Hot Click Marketing can either take on your social media management or teach you how to do it.