The hashtag symbol look like this: #
The # symbol is followed by unbroken text. This can be one word, i.e. #book or a string of characters: #photography
Hashtags have only been around since 2007. They were invented by Chris Messina: https://twitter.com/chrismessina
Hashtags are used to tag social media posts with relevant keywords. Therefore, a good place to start is with your alphabetical list of keywords / keyword phrases, which I recommend you print out and display in your office (if you have an office, that is!)
Social media websites use hashtags to track the popularity of topics (AKA ‘trending’ within Twitter) and users can use them for search purposes. Some marketers ride on the back of successful hashtags and embed them within their Tweets (I think that this is OK if the hashtag is actually relevant to your brand).
Visit hashtags.org to find out what is currently trending on Twitter: https://www.hashtags.org/trending-on-twitter
As you will see, this site has a search box at the top. The results cover the last 24 hours. Note that you can use hashtags.org for free (and there is a lot on offer for free). However, their analytics come with a fee.
An alternative is http://hashtagify.me …this site allows you to search amongst millions of Twitter hashtags and find the most popular ones.
Here are some tips:
* Include hashtags within a reasonable proportion of your Tweets (personally I would say use them in less than 50% of the time)
* Take a look at how your competitors use hashtags
* I recommend that you have a hashtag for your brand
* You could launch a competition using a hashtag (Audi did this using #WantAnR8 and it went viral)
As someone who provides social media marketing training and consultancy I talk about the use of hashtags during seminars, talks and client meetings. The Marketing Compass website is hashtag enabled (by all means use them within your activity updates).
Twitter provides useful analytics via: https://analytics.twitter.com Hint: login to Twitter before you click on this link and you will see something like this: