Twitter: What’s a Hash Tag and Why Do We Need Them?

by Martha Giffen

You may not be using them, but if you have spent any time on Twitter, you’ve seen them.  The hash tag.  It looks like this:  # and is used in front of a keyword.  Used correctly, it can help build your online business!

Not quite sure how it all works?  OK, say you are in the parenting niche.  You might try searching #parenting, #parents #teens #kids  #teachers or #moms and see what comes up!  (Yes, just enter it in the “search” area)  This helps you find your audience.

But, it’s much more than that . . .

Just searching for hashtags will help you find your keyword group and gather information.  Sending out tweets using the hashtag is the key. You use it to engage.  Remember, when using the hashtag, you are sending out some sort of message to that targeted group.  Make your tweets conversation-worthy.  Or follow-worthy. Give an informative link or some valuable content in the tweet.

In 140 characters??

Yes, make it short.  People don’t want to read your blog.  Yet.  If you’ve written a fantastic blog post, use a relevant  hashtag to drive traffic to it.  As a matter of fact, that’s one of the primary uses of the hashtag.  To drive targeted traffic to your site.  If your tweets are compelling enough, and you use the right hashtag, it works.

But wait!  There’s more. . . .

One of the most interesting and fun ways to use the hashtag is to participate in a hashtag event! It’s similar to an offline event but it takes place in the Twitter stream.  People congregate during a certain time period and openly tweet during  the event.  For example, during many Blog Talk Radio shows, they will be using a hashtag during the show for people to make comments and be social while they are listening to the program.

It’s truly one of the most delightful ways to meet and engage with others interested in a topic.

In the past year, I participated in and benefited from several hashtag events. Some of my favorites were:

  • #unlaunch  – a BTR show produced several times a year to introduce new products created from Pat O’Bryan’s coaching program.
  • #soiree  – online chat while  Kay Ballard interviewed someone famous or almost-famous.
  • #blogboost – a stream of bloggers with new posts participating in the Ultimate Blog Challenge. (I’m tweeting with this one as we speak!)
  • #SMManners – hosted every Tuesday night by Michele Price (aka @prosperitygal) with people discussing social media manners and social media in general.

And even MORE. . . . .

Using the hashtag is a fantastic way to find people in your niche and also to connect with folks that might be helpful to you in the future. They just might  become customers, affiliates, mentors or JV partners. When connecting socially, you NEVER know when you are meeting the one person who could possibly be the game changer for your biz!

Hopefully, now you  have a basic understanding of the hashtag and are eager to use it.  Go out there and have #massive #online #success!!



p.s. For more Twitter tips:  Best Tweet Tips; To connect with me on Twitter: @marthagiffen

 Twitter:  Whats a Hash Tag and Why Do We Need Them?

Martha Giffen

Martha Giffen is a Small Business and Social Media Consultant, Coach, Trainer, and Speaker. The author of 3 best-selling books, including "Be Social Be Rich," she is an Online Marketing authority and teaches Small Biz Owners how to achieve massive profitable success. And, -she dishes it all out with a warm southern flare!

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