What is a hash tag?
A hash tag is a symbol on your keyboard which looks like this # and it is a way of categorising key words, phrases and topics within a Twitter post (Tweet) so it will appear in Twitter searches. A word or phrase which has been hash tagged has the # symbol preceding it. Here are a few hash tagged words and phrases:
Twitter itself doesn't determine hash tags, users do. On your Twitter timeline you may have seen ‘Worldwide/United Kingdom trends’ which displays popular/recent news stories and will also display hash tagged words or phrases that have become very popular too.
How to use hash tags in Tweets
To hash tag a word, you simply put the # symbol before it. Here is a Tweet which I recently posted on my Twitter timeline:
As you can see from my Tweet, the words #hashtags #business and #mumpreneurs are hash tagged. This means the above Tweet will appear when anyone searches for 'hashtags', 'business' or 'Mumpreneurs'. By clicking on a hash tagged word in any post, other Tweets in that category will be displayed.
Popular Hash tags to promote your business
#MOM and #WOW
Men on Monday and Women on Wednesday
These hash tags are used for a popular competition run by Jacqueline Gold, who is the Chief Executive of Ann Summers. Every Monday (for male entrepreneurs) and Wednesday (for female entrepreneurs) between 1 and 3pm you can Tweet about your business including the hash tag #WOW or #MOM and tag @Jaqueline_Gold. You may get a ReTweet for your business and if you win you get a badge you can display on your website.
#ff or #followfriday
This is a very popular hash tag. It should be used along with tag @twitterusername to Tweet about people on Twitter who you have been interacting with. You could use the #ff hash tag to thank those who have been helping you promote your business; have helped you with a query, or simply to recommend interesting people/businesses to your own followers. Here is an example of one of my recent #ff Tweets:
This was hash tag was created by Julie Williams from Business Support Services as a way for small businesses to increase their followers. All you need to do is include the #followmybusiness hash tag in your Tweet along with a little bit about your business and see what happens!
Small Business Sunday
This hash tag was introduced by Theo Paphitis, Entrepreneur from the Dragon’s Den television programme and it runs on Sundays from 5 – 7.30pm. During this time, people Tweet about their small businesses including the hash tag #sbs and tag @theopaphis. Theo then chooses 6 of these businesses to RT (ReTweet). If you get chosen, this is a fantastic way to promote your business and get lots more followers. You also get a certificate too!
One of Twitter’s fastest growing hash tags and trending within two weeks of launch. Bizitalk supports small business, providing a platform for networking, meeting new customers and suppliers, increasing your follower base quickly and making more sales. Just Follow and ReTweet other Bizitalkers.
More ways to use hash tags
Business hash tags:
There are a fair few business hash tags you can include in your Tweets which are as follows:
#marketing #business #networking #success #workfromhome #entrepreneur #mumpreneur #sme #smallbusiness #startups #smallbiz
When Tweeting about a location, include a hash tag before the place name as this is a great way to network with local business owners or potential customers and gain more followers who are in your locality, i.e.:
#hampshire #leeds #lowestoft #bournemouth #lincoln #cornwall
There is some comedy value in hash tagging a short sentence, but don't make a habit of it #oryoumightlosefollowers!
Create your own:
If you want to make a hash tag popular and have a reasonable amount of followers you could have a go at creating your own. You need to get lots of Twitter users hash tagging your chosen word or phrase within your chosen time period. Promote this where you can with other social media platforms and make it fun to get as many people as you can on board – you might just create a trending topic or widely used hash tag...
Hash tag tips
Don't get carried away and hash tag lots of words. Twitter best practice recommends no more than 3 hash tags per Tweet
Use hash tags which are relevant to your Tweet/topic
Your Tweets are public unless you have protected them, so remember that your Tweets can be found in searches
Visit tagdef.com to find out what various hash tags mean and which hash tags are popular
Happy hash tagging!