How To Effectively Use Twitter Hashtags

Hashtags have become the prominent marketing driving force for trending topics on Twitter since they began in 2007. Other social networks like Facebook, Google Plus, Pinterest, and Instagram have followed their example.

There are a few key strategies brands and businesses can focus on in order to make sure their posts are creating the most engagement and retweets on Twitter. Here are some basic rules to follow in order to be successful:

Match the topic

Too many times tweets are sent out with three or more hashtags that do not relate to the post. What matters the most on Twitter is to research the best used keywords for what you are sharing, and to avoid using more than one hashtag. This will increase your chances of retweets and engagement as well.

Keep it simple

You don’t need to include too many phrases in one hashtag in order to be effective. There are a few exceptions, however; such as top trends like the recent, #IceBucketChallenge. As a general rule you will want to stick with one or two words so as not to make your hashtag too confusing for the reader. Information flows very quickly on Twitter, and tweets that are clear, concise, and easy-to-read get the most traction.

It’s well worth the time and effort to do some research and discover how hashtags are performing for your niche. Try some free tools like and #tagdef to learn more about what is getting the most retweets and conversations going. Throwing in arbitrary hashtags into your tweets could make your account look like spam, so be careful of which terms you choose.

Create a hashtag(s) for branding

After completing your research on hashtags for your niche consider putting together a list of terms that fit your brand’s mission. Use these consistently on all of the major social networks, and especially take advantage of special events, product promotions, announcements, and giveaways. This is a good opportunity to encourage your audience to receive something in return for using your unique hashtag as well, which can be a real boon for your brand growth.

The best tweets generated today are ones that contain focused keywords that are simple, easy to recognize, and flow with a brand or business. Hashtags can be the delivery system for new followers and leads when you’ve done your homework and strategically use the right terms.