For Twitter newbies: the #hashtag explained
Pat Rhoads - Nonprofit Marketing & Social Media Professional
RSS Follow

Delivered by FeedBurner

Recent Posts

My 3 Tips: How I maintain engagement on Facebook without paying to boost posts
Strategically Embracing Ignorance
For Twitter newbies: the #hashtag explained
My take: 3 ways Facebook's USERS are causing it's decline
When will they learn?


Empire Avenue
nonprofit marketing
nonprofit marketing & social media
social media


April 2014
May 2013
October 2012
July 2012
April 2012
December 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
February 2011
January 2011

powered by

Another 'Expert', only I'm not

For Twitter newbies: the #hashtag explained

Chances are if you're new to twitter, one of the most confusing aspects of reading tweets are the hashtags. (For the REALLY new, hashtags are words or groups of words immediately preceded by the # symbol, such as #marketing.)

I am going to break down for you what the basic types of hashtags are, and what they're used for.

1. Keywords
It's common to see certain keywords hashtagged in tweets. For example, if someone is tweeting about marketing, they might include #marketing in the tweet.

Including a hashtagged keyword in a tweet makes it searchable in Twitter. Clicking on a hashatgged keyword (or searching by it in Twitter search functions) will pull up a list of other tweets with the same keyword. This allows your tweet to appear in search results for that keyword, making your tweet more visible. This is also a great way to find tweets, and tweeps, you're interested in via similar content interests.
 There are two keyword hashtags in this tweet, #marketing and #content

2. Events and Conferences
Events can be anything from huge, multi-day conferences to a lunchtime or happy hour meetup where people are tweeting. Increasingly, events are promoting a specific hashtag for that event.

One the the functions of event hashtags is to help get the word out. Once the event starts, the event hashtag serves much the same function as a keyword, in that people wishing to follow conversations or information streams from an event can search by and follow the hashtag.

This screen capture is from the National Association for College Admission Counseling (#nacac) conference

3. Twitter Q&As
Another type of 'event' is the Twitter Q&A. This is a Q&A session, typically around an hour long, done solely on Twitter. Everyone uses a specific hashtag to follow the session, and all questions and answers include it in their tweets.

Twitter Q&As are a fantastic way to learn more about a certain topic. The screenshot below is from #tchat, a weekly Twitter Q&A hosted by HR professionals. They talk about how to find jobs, network, build your resume, and a lot more.

Another great aspect of Q&As (not to get too far off topic) is that it's another great way to meet people on Twitter who have similar interests. This opportunity to expand your network is too valuable to ignore.

This screen shot is from #tchat, or Talent Chat, a weekly Twitter Q&A involving HR professionals 

4. "Flavor"
This kinds of hashtags are probably the most confusing to the new Twitter user. These are words or groups of words used to convey a part of the message, but which are not intended to be used to follow a conversation or to appear in keyword searches. They usually appear at the end of the tweet. 

Some examples I've seen are #ilovecoffee, #AnotherDayInParadise, and #MondaySucks.

It's important to note, if you hadn't already noticed, that hashtagged terms can not have spaces or special characters in them. That includes hyphens and apostrophes. 

A hashtag like #letthegoodtimesroll adds a little 'flavor' to a tweet

That just about covers the major uses of Twitter that I can think of. Have you seen others? Any additional questions about how hashtags are used?

3 Comments to For Twitter newbies: the #hashtag explained:

Comments RSS
naidu on Monday, May 22, 2017 6:19 AM
Reply to comment on Monday, May 22, 2017 10:59 AM
For twitter newbibes the hashtag explained everything on it really preceded by the symbol such as maketing. Thanks for this patrhoads blog,the common to see certain the making your tweet more visible.
Reply to comment

rolex replica on Monday, November 20, 2017 7:16 PM
Reply to comment

Add a Comment

Your Name:
Email Address: (Required)
Make your text bigger, bold, italic and more with HTML tags. We'll show you how.
Post Comment
Website Builder provided by  Vistaprint