How To Twitter: What Are Twitter Hashtags

Filed in Twitter by on December 14, 2009 0 Comments


Why Hashtags Are Useful

My camp story

Every summer as a child I would attend camp. I was usually placed in a cabin with about eight other boys. We were all the same age and about the same size. Because of the carefree manner of young boys we had a difficult time returning home with all our stuff. Some stuff would get lost and some would end up in another boy’s suitcase.

One summer, a boy showed up with small name tags sewn into his clothes by his mother. They were designed to help him return home with all the clothing he took to camp. We teased him all week about it. But on the last day of camp when we couldn’t find all our garments – he had most of his. It worked. His mother was able to save on loss because of tagging.

Much like that boy – people use tags on Twitter. They use them to identify Twitter posts so they don’t get “lost” in the shuffle. It allows for these posts to be easily searched for and categorized. It allows people to easily follow a topic, discussion, or event by searching for the tag. Basically, it is a way to index content.

What Can You Do With Hashtags

Using hashtags you can:

  • Label your Twitter posts to make them easy to index and search
  • Create a set of posts centered around a topic or event

Hashtags are non-hierarchical. The challenge is to find and use a tag that hasn’t already been used. To give some order to the process the website was created.

How To Make A New Hashtag

Start using a # symbol in front of a word or group of letters

Use hashtags in your tweets, preceding key words. For example #superbowl would be the hash symbol and the keyword “superbowl.” It can be helpful to do a little research first, to find out if the subject you’re tweeting already has an established hashtag.

Track your hashtag and others that you are interested in

Track other tweets on the subjects you’re interested in (ie: those containing the appropriate hashtags) by browsing/searching at

Now go take action.


Joel Mark Witt is the Publisher of Folk Media and author of 21 Days To Twitter Leadership. He is a producer, author, and speaker who consults with businesses and nonprofits on how to use social media in marketing and communications. Get more from Joel on Twitter.


Get the book “21 Days To Twitter Leadership” The Step-By-Step Guide On How To Twitter, Get Twitter Followers And Position Yourself As The Leader In Your Industry In Less Than 10 Minutes Per Day.

* Photo By jeffisageek

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