Twitter Hashtags: How, Why and When To Use Them For Your Business

Marketing your business on Twitter is one of the best strategies that you can settle on because if done well, this popular social media channel will help create important leads for your business. Twitter marketing success largely lies on reaching a wider audience and there’s no better way of doing that than using the right Twitter hashtags.

The more your audience engages with you on Twitter, the higher your chances of building relationships that could may lead to a prospect customer or better still a business transaction.

For people to engage with your content, they have to find it first. More and more people are using relevant Twitter hashtags to search for content. For instance, if someone wants to find information regarding entrepreneurs success in business they are more likely to search for #entrepreneurs as opposed to ‘entrepreneurs’. Yes, that’s how important Twitter hashtags are.

 

Studies have shown that tweets with hashtags receive 2 times more engagement than those without hashtags. Knowing what hashtags are, how they work and when to use them is key in achieving your business goals.

Here are a few best practices to help you make the best use of Twitter hashtags.

Importance of Twitter Hashtags

Hashtags are keywords that enable you to promote your social content and exponentially increase your content reach. Twitter hashtags let you:

  • Increase your content reach by making it possible for more people to see your content thus increase your post likes, retweets and mentions.
  • You can easily find relevant discussions and trends to participate in
  • Search for relevant information

Types of Twitter Hashtags

There are 5 types of hashtags that work differently and are used in different situations.

Branding hashtags

If you want people to easily find your company using your company name, you can use your brand or tagline as a hashtag. Use such hashtags to sell your brand and build a reputation online.

Twitter brand hashtags are a great way of giving your brand a human voice on Twitter. This is great because people want to talk to people and not brands.

KitKat has brilliantly used brand hashtags borrowed from the company’s tagline in their Twitter content as you can see below. You can also see how a KitKat fan has used the hashtag to engage with the company.

twitter hashtags

twitter hashtags

Campaign hashtags

If you are running a campaign for your business, a hashtag tailor made for that campaign is a good way to promote your campaign on Twitter. Use campaign hashtags for online contests and promotions. This will help you generate more engagement and awareness for your promotions.

Coca-Cola is one company that never disappoints when it comes to campaign hashtags, no wonder they go viral, all the time! Here’s their current campaign and Twitter hashtag:

twitter hashtags

Product hashtags

Another type of hashtag is the product hashtag. You can create a product hashtag using product names or categories. This is especially important if you have a new product or product line that you want to promote.

Event hashtags

If you are holding an event you might want to create a unique hashtag that promotes it. It could be as easy as using the event name or a something that describes the event.

Trending and niche trending hashtags

Trending topics are quite popular on Twitter. Trending topics are most talked about topics being discussed each day on Twitter. Hashtags are becoming popular trending topics.

Most of the trending topics  are niche topics that relate to a particular audience. In most cases you will not be the originator of trending topics but you can use a relevant trending hashtag in your content and increase its reach.

You can find the day’s trending topics on your Twitter homepage on the left side.

twitter hashtags

Determining the Best Twitter Hashtags to Use

Identifying the right Twitter hashtags is very important if you want them to work for you. One of the best ways to determine which hashtag to use is by finding out what your audience is searching for on Twitter. It is also important to know the hashtags that your competitors are using.

Use Twitter search to find popular hashtags. Other useful tools are Ritetag, and Hashtagify.me. You can use these two tools to find trending hashtags, find hashtags related to a keyword, find out how popular a particular hashtag is as well as who is using the hashtags you are interested in.

twitter hashtags

If a particular hashtag is not popular among your target audience, it’s best not to use it. As a start, you can experiment with different hashtags to find out the ones that work best for your business.

How to Construct a Twitter Hashtag

When creating a hashtag:

  • Use the hashtag sign # at the beginning of your tag.
  • Write your hashtag after the sign without any spaces or special characters/punctuation such as &, %, !
  • Search on Twitter to find out if the hashtag exists
  • It is ok to have hashtags at the end of your tweet but best practice is to incorporate hashtags into the words of your update e.g. Top 10 #FreelanceWriting Tips to Follow

Where to Use Hashtags

When using Twitter hashtags you can use them in your branding material such as your cover photo. Add a hashtag on your profile description. A brand or campaign hashtag would be best for this.

See how Dove has used a hashtag on their cover image:

twitter hashtags

Another way to use hashtags on Twitter is for Twitter chats. A Twitter chat involves a pre-selected  topic such as #CollegeIn5Words and people are allowed to discuss the topic and tag the originator of the chat for a particular amount of time such as an hour or a day. You can use your twitter chat topic as a hashtag for better engagement.

Hashtag Dos

Use Specific Hashtags

When creating a hashtag try and be as specific as possible. This will make it easy for people to understand them and to use them. It also increases people’s chances of finding them.

Brand hashtags, campaign hashtags and product hashtags are a good example of specific hashtags. The more specific your hashtags are, the more targeted people you will be able to reach.

Use hashtags that are easy to remember

The easier your hashtags are the more memorable they will be and  the more likely people with engage them. Memorable hashtags are also good for starting a trending hashtag.

Consider context

When using Twitter hashtags make sure that you consider the context that you are planning to use it in. The hashtag has to be relevant to the context and not contradict what you are trying to say.

The hashtag should also be relevant to your audience, make it something that they can relate to.

Hashtag Don’ts

Don’t Make them Too Long

Always keep your hashtag short, simple and interesting. Having a long hashtag is a disadvantage because people will avoid using it in their tweets as they don’t want to run out of the 140 Twitter characters.

Use minimal hashtags

The recommended number of hashtags to use on Twitter is 3. If you use too many hashtags on Twitter your tweet will be considered spam and will not be distributed to users.

Don’t ever have more hashtags than words in your tweets. This will dilute your message and nobody will take you seriously.

You don’t have to use a Hashtag all the time

Not every tweet will require a hashtag. This also means that you don’t need to get involved in a trending hashtag just because everyone else is doing it especially if it is not related to your business.

Twitter hashtags, when used appropriately, are a great way of ensuring that your Twitter marketing efforts pay off. Why don’t you try out today and let us know how they work for your business?

Do you have any other tips on how to best use Twitter hashtags? Tell us on the comments section!