Companies, event organizers and those with a Twitter account and an understanding of hashtags are all reaching beyond their followers – this we all can see.

Where should I get these great hashtags, and enjoy more pageviews, Klout growth and actually get things done in Twitter?

If you already know your hashtags, great. Use them. If you have an event or brand tag that is relevant to what you’re sharing, use it. To reach beyond your followers, you’ll want to take your topic and search hashtags that have gone out with the topic word(s). Several social media tools provide for this.

Hashtag search and optimization tools: – like RiteTag, we log in with Twitter, even if registered. Great layout, but no details on hashtags or their ranking, in relation to the search query. As such, it’s great if you already know the hashtags to use and want stats on them; it doesn’t actually take a query and suggest hashtags to consider using, however. Hashtag information is provided for Twitter only. – the closest thing to RiteTag, but provides many more stats. One section is for hashtags related to your query, but unlike RiteTag, data is not frequently updated. The hashtags suggested for a query lead with your query, whether it has been used as a hashtag or not, and those that follow do not seem relevant, generally. Also, hashtag data is limited to Twitter.

Upper-left areas showing sentiment, number of retweets of a hashtag, strength and reach are good – but unexplained. – Hootsuite’s product has yet to give me a result. Widely touted as the hashtag search tool, it appears to be all about humans defining hashtags so that their meaning is known and this information is cataloged. Nothing showing the hashtags used in context (in recent tweets) or how many times they are used. Nothing suggesting other hashtags related to a query/ topic.

As with most tools, while over fifty social networks use topic hashtags, Whatthetag assumes that we are interested in Twitter hashtags only. – again, all about humans defining hashtags. The site aims to provide hashtags related to a hashtag researched on the site, but gives results without ranking them or providing stats on the users using them, number of times used, or estimated reach. Additionally, they ask us to manually suggest related tags.

My problem with this is that it begs people to game their tags by linking them with well-tracked hashtags. TagDef leads us to suggest “related” hashtags after we define or search for the definition of a hashtag. For TagDef as well, it assumes that we believe that hashtags = Twitter hashtags. – provides related hashtags (as with most tools, only for Twitter), but without stats on the number of times each have been used. Data refreshes very infrequently, making stats unreliable. For example, for the hashtag #SEM, after authorizing my Twitter account for the site (as I do with RiteTag, Hashtracking and other tag-search tools), I am told that the last entry for #SEM was a week ago. I do not see who used it, or in what context. RiteTag gives me up-to-the-minute tweets containing #SEM, shows the number of times accounts have used the tag, and for related tags, rather than listing them, they are ranked and with stats that help me decide if they are both relevant and likely to reach beyond my followers: (disclaimer: I am the founder) – give ritetag a topic and ritetag suggests hashtags that have gone out with your query word(s). If Tag search doesn’t give you Reports or Tag sets that help, you can order your own Reports – with your query term(s) and noting any/all of the nine social networks that RiteTag analyzes hashtag data for.

How to put RiteTag and hashtags for Twitter marketing to the test:

RiteTag will show you what you get for your tagging trouble

Testing continues, as shown in the video above, and while we build our own system for tracking, here is what we are evaluating:

  1. Clicks on links in tweets: tweets without hashtags vs the same tweets with Ritetag-optimized hashtags
  2. Retweets of tweets without tags vs the same tweets with RiteTag hashtags
  3. Favorites of tweets without tags vs the same tweets with RiteTag hashtags

Tracking tweets shared with unique tiny URLs for the stats, I am tweeting with RiteTag-suggested hashtags from @OsakaTalk (420 followers / 44 Klout) and without tags from @SaulSay (4,839 followers / 47 Klout) so that the account with greater interaction (higher Klout) and 12 times the followers of @OsakaTalk has “a fighting chance” against the attention and “reaching beyond followers” that the @OsakaTalk is enjoying in this experiment.

Would you like us to see what we can do with hashtags to drive more people to your blog – or page of any kind?

Comment with a tweet, including a (non-malicious) URL and message. Include “via @[yourtwitteraccount]” so you can see the results yourself. If your tweet is selected, we’ll let you know.