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Twitter is an amazing social platform using a maximum of 140 characters to “tweet” your message. Within the tweet a special character called a hashtag can be used. It’s the number sign # and it’s used in front of a specific word – example #hashtag.

What are hashtags:

Hashtags are a unique way for you to organize your information and for viewers to find your information quicker. Think of them as being a folder and within that folder everything mentioned with that specific hashtag is inside. When you or anyone else looks for that information, they will go straight to that folder and find all the information on that subject.

Using the example at the beginning of this post, our folder would be named #hashtag and inside would be all the tweets posted containing it. Then when someone searched information on #hashtages, information you had tweeted using it would be viewable in their stream or search.

Why use hashtags:

Is there a benefit in using hashtags? Yes! People may see your tweets you’ve posted, but Twitter is such a fast moving social platform that they would have to be on Twitter when your information passed through their stream, or be following you and look specifically for what you’ve posted.

One benefit is using hashtags allows viewers to look specifically at that targeted information. It’s like looking in a trade magazine on a specific subject and finding everything there that had been written about it in that one designated place.

Another benefit is people do not have to be following you to see your information you’ve posted using the hashtag. People viewing your tweets would be targeted viewers who are looking for your information and may start to follow you.

On the flip side of that, you can search specific hashtags your self and find other people who are talking about that subject. These people are interested in what you are talking about and are your target market, follow them. You can even join in their conversation, answer any question that may have been asked, or offer some insight.

How do I use hashtags:

Using hashtags is the easy part. Whenever you are going to be tweeting on a certain subject, either create a hashtag to use in each of your tweets or use one that’s already being used for that subject.

Another huge benefit is when using hashtags connected with an event you are presenting, following, or attending. Events (both online and offline) are given hashtags names. The person may say “We would love for your to use #hashtagname during this event when tweeting.”

This means that every tweet sent out during that event with the #hashtagname will be viewable by all the attendees followers!! And if someone missed the event, they can do a Twitter search on #hashtagname and see all the information that was posted in tweets for the event.

Some hashtag examples may be #socialmedia, #dental, #onlinemarketing, #backtoschool, #tweetup, #meetup, #dieting, #realestate, #socialnetworking, and of course #hashtag.

Some trending topics hashtag examples would be #London2012 #openingceremonies #Olympics. The point is if you are creating the hashtage, make it unique to your event or content.

One excellent program to use during an event to post and follow posts with a specific #hashtag is TweetChat.com.

Sign in to TweetChat, then enter the #hashtag you want to follow. **Note: Do Not enter the #. Tweet Chat automatically has that already there. All tweets/hashtags will flow through that program.

Be advised the hashtag is automatically added to the end of the tweet. You don’t have to type it in (another good reason to use it) . You can use TweetChat AND listen to the event at the same time.

Most hashtags are at the end of the tweet, but can be used at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end. Usually you don’t want to use more than 2 in a tweet. Don’t overload your tweets with a lot of them in one tweet. That gets annoying to viewers.

How long should my hashtags be:

A rule of thumb would be since tweets are limited to 140 characters, have your hashtag no more than 14 characters long. If you are using 120 characters to allow for Retweeting and commenting, then have it no more than 12 characters long. Point is you don’t want your it very long because you are limited in the space for your actual tweet and the hastage will be counted in those total characters.

Want to know more?

Livvie Matthews, a 30 year dental office professional, provides Social Media and Internet Marketing solutions for businesses and practices that see the value of social media, they have plenty of content but don’t have the time to manage social media. She is passionate about helping service professionals learn to DRAW clients and patients into their space using the incredible power of the Social Media and Internet Marketing!

Email Livvie@simplesocialmedia.tv

Visit Livvie at: http://www.SimpleSocialMedia.TV

 

Written by Larry Newman

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