Twitter hashtag is a collection of letters with one rule: a pound sign (#) is used before these letters. Simply put, hashtag is just a keyword with a pound sign. One can use any number of keywords, but as a standard practice, do not include any space between these keywords.
For example, as of this writing, #MentionSomeoneWhoIsAwesome hashtag is trending on Twitter. There are 5 words used in this hashtag, and there’s no space between each word. And yes, that’s a very long hashtag.
You don’t have to use longer hashtags if you don’t want to. To express your Twitter updates, short hashtags are always recommended but not compulsory.
Want to know more? Watch this entertaining video explaining the history of hashtags:
Hashtags are not just confined to celebrities. Everyone can use hashtags on Twitter and join the conversation — that’s the best part, really! To get started, log in to your Twitter account, update your Twitter status with anything you want.
Example: I don’t feel good today #headache.
Go to Twitter Search and type the hashtag in the search box. If you are using a common hashtag, there’s a good chance that you will find updates from other people. For example, #apple is a commonly used hashtag on Twitter.
Hashtags can be powerful. Recently, to fight about Internet censorship, Anonymous created #Opindia hashtag resulting in thousands of tweets and dozens of meetups.
By creating a new hashtag and involving in a popular hashtag conversation, you can drive customers to your business. If you are really serious about your business, intersperse interesting tweets, probably some fun facts about bicycles (if your business is about selling bicycles) and share interesting articles related to your niche. Remember not to spam your followers.
If you are a student, here’s a Google document with a huge list of educational hashtags. Use these hashtags to discover new resources. Even journalists can use hashtags to find interest links on the web through Twitter.
Marketers can increase their brand value by involving in a hashtag conversation. There’s no particular rule on how to or what to tweet. Simply tweet what you feel might interest your followers.
Searching a hashtag on Twitter Search can help you find interesting tweets, facts, webpages, and much more.
Useful desktop tools like Tweetdeck and Hootsuite (which are completely free to download) can be used to monitor hashtags and your Twitter followers. A better way to keep track of trends on Twitter is to use What’s the trend website. Check out Statweestics to find popular hashtags by time.
Hashtags.org is yet another website to find upcoming trends related to your niche. If you are following someone, probably an industry leader, you can use My Tweet Cloud to know the hashtags they frequently use. HashTweets can also help you find influential people on Twitter based on the number of times they have used a hashtag.