Hashtag literally means the character #. In Twitter, a hashtag is any word or phrase included in a tweet starting with the hashtag symbol (#). For example: #Mondaymotivation, #StayHomeStaySafe, #Covid19, etc.

what are hashtags on Twitter

Hashtags are an important part of Twitter. They are used to describe a topic or a theme. They can be used to easily find popular themes and help you be up to date with real-life news and other events. Hashtags can help you find interesting topics. Adding a # in front of any word or unbroken phrase creates a hashtag. When you use a hashtag in your tweet, it gets linked to all the other tweets which include the same hashtag.

Including a hashtag in your tweet means you are categorizing the post. They can be included anywhere on the tweet. They are automatically clickable as soon as you tweet your post. Now anyone who clicks on that hashtag will go to a page featuring the feed of all recent tweets that contain the hashtag. People you have blocked will be unable to use your hashtag.

How it all began:

The first-ever use of hashtags was done by American blogger, Chris Messina. The web marketing department then decided to use this innovative idea to group related tweets together. The concept of hashtags was first introduced on Twitter in 2007. The idea of ​​the # symbol went well with Twitter’s concept of being a brief platform. Following its popularity, customer response, and frequent use for trending topics over the years, other social media platforms like Instagram as well as TV shows and video campaigns have adopted hashtags too. 

What are the uses of hashtags?

Hashtags are a convenient way of categorizing or grouping tweets of the same nature or which is concerning the same topic.

When you click on a hashtag, it will direct you to other tweets that have also used the particular hashtag. In this way, you can keep track of important and trending topics that are being discussed on Twitter. You can also follow and show your support for these topics.

Hashtags can help you to easily follow your topic of interest. Instead of scrolling through your Twitter feed, you can simply find tweets relevant to your topic of curiosity with the help of hashtags.

Now why should you use hashtags? According to Twitter’s research tweets with hashtags increased engagement- retweets, clicks, favorites and replies to individuals and brands. Tweets with hashtags have the potential to increase engagement by 100% for individuals and 50% for brands!

Tips to use hashtags effectively:

Often people tend to make mistakes while using hashtags in the initial stages. Here are some tips to keep in mind in order to use hashtags efficiently-

  1. Use short phrases or words that best describe the subject you want to bring up. For example, use: #StayHome instead of using #StayHomeasmuchaspossibletoppreventspreadingcovid19.
  2. Too many hashtags in a single tweet make it look like spam. The character limit for a public tweets is currently 280. Hence if you add a lot of hashtags to your tweet, you hardly have enough characters left to write a proper message. Usually, it is best to stick to a maximum of one or two hashtags.
  3. Using a hashtag that is currently trending gets your tweet more engagement. You can find such topics in the “trends for you” list which is in the right sidebar of your home feed at Twitter.com or in the search tab of the mobile app of Twitter. The list includes issues or trending themes currently popular in your geographical location.
  4. Though hashtags are not case-sensitive, adding capital letters does make them more eye-catching. For example, #JusticeForSSR looks better and easily readable than #justiceforssr.
  5. Make sure your message and hashtags are properly co-related. Using unnecessary and irrelevant hashtags exhibits you in poor light in front of your followers.
  6. The #Explore tab on Twitter can also be used to check other trendy hashtags which might be of your interest. You can also check what hashtags people are already using and capitalize on those by incorporating them into your tweet.

Punctuation in a hashtag

what are hashtags on Twitter

  1. Do not add spaces or any type of punctuation in a hashtag. Otherwise, it will not work properly. Suppose, you type ‘#make a wish’ instead of #makeawish, the hashtag will be considered as #make.
  2. Make sure your hashtags are curt and easy to remember. Else, people might mistype your hashtag making it less discoverable. Thus making other users less likely to ever see or use it. What are hashtags on Twitter?
  3. It is advised to focus your tweet in order to bring up one particular topic or address a specific issue than putting forth multiple notions in one tweet itself. It will also be difficult to find hashtags befitting all your issues. If you have more to say, simply make use of “tweet threads”.
  4. If your hashtag and message is clear and in tune with many other people, you may expect it to trend. People will use your hashtag to show understanding and agreement with you, on top of attracting others and invoking their curiosity as well. People would get into the conversation to explore and discuss the matter. You may even gain more followers!
  5. Hashtags should be easy to memorize. This is to ensure many people can use your hashtag and it stays in trend for a long time.
Max & Team

Max and his team write tutorials & guides about everything that has to do with social media. TikTok, Instagram, YouTube and co: In the blog of Adfluencer, our influencer marketing agency, you can find super many helpful articles 🙂