Twitter is one of the most difficult social networks for people to learn. They say, you either get it or you just don’t. Many of us do not have the choice of ‘not getting it’, and hashtags only make the learning curve more difficult.
What Are Hashtags?
You might have noticed words beginning with # symbol in individual tweets. These are known as hashtags, something extremely central to the way Twitter functions. A Hashtag is a tag that is prefixed with the # symbol, and helps to categorize tweets that are unimaginably dissimilar and non-cohesive. With millions of tweets out there, it becomes difficult to categorize individual tweets, and that is where the hashtag comes to work. Hashtags are used to categorise tweets, and also to give a direction to otherwise random tweets that may eventually get lost.
How to Use Hashtags?
Hashtags must be used next to relevant keywords without any spaces. If your tweet is related to how HTML5 can improve the quality of websites you deisgn, #webdesign and #HTML5 can be appropriate hashtags. This helps your tweet to appear in search results when people type #HTML5. Hashtags can be used anywhere within a tweet and can even be part of the sentence. Hashtagged words that become really popular are said to be ‘trending topics’. While very tempting to do so, you must make sure that you do not stuff your tweet with hashtags. It may appear spammy or downright unprofessional. Ideally, you should not include more than two hashtags per tweet.
Identifying and Tracking Hashtags
Hashtags can be identified in various smartphone applications even as you type. However, if you use the computer to use Twitter, there are several tools which can help you to identify popular hashtags. Twubs uses a wiki system to disseminate information on a hashtag. It has an attractive way to display hashtags and the tweets associated. Hashtags.org has been around for a while, and suggests tags that may be relevant to what you are looking for. Tagalus is a dictionary of sorts for hashtags. There are several other tools to discover hashtags on Twitter. Monitter and Twitterfall help you to track tweets from a hashtag in real time. Twilert sends you a daily email of specific hashtag’s uses. You can take a look at some of the popular hashtags for web designers here.
Popular Hashtags for Web Designers and Developers
Hashtags can be used to organize your own tweets, so that you could go back and search for them easily. You would need to search for a particular hashtag within your own stream in order to retrieve earlier tweets. It can also help in organizing chats, conferences, or events both online and offline. At the end of the day, it depends on you how you use hashtags. It is now being used on Pinterest and elsewhere as well, so it helps to learn popular hashtags without having to look for them when you need to tweet spontaneously. Finally, don’t forget to use a hashtag for your own company, as that can be a powerful identifier on Twitter!