# – This symbol had almost zero value before the invention of smartphones and social media, but now it has become the most important symbols of them all. Hashtags are something that will either de-value your tweet or make it stand out in a sea of tweets. But for hashtags to work for you, you need to understand how do they work. By the end of this article, you will completely understand why and how hashtags will work and how to make the best use of them to increase your Twitter account’s exposure.

Use of hashtags

What is a Hashtag?

People started using hashtags on Twitter around the year 2007. Nowadays, hashtags are used almost on any social media platform. A hashtag consists of two parts, the first is the symbol, ‘#’ and the second part is a word or a phrase that is continued by the symbol. Some of the examples of hashtags are ‘#HelloWorld’, ‘#HappyBirthday’, ‘#Love’ etc.

Why should you use hashtags?

Hashtags are a way of grouping or categorising tweets and posts. If you are searching for a relevant tweet regarding a particular topic, then hashtags will help you. If you use a hashtag in your tweet, you know that that specific tweet belongs to the issue in the hashtag. This way, you need not have to scroll through an entire ocean of tweets before you find the relevant tweet.

Also, statistics prove that tweets with hashtags have relatively more clicks, retweets, replies and likes. Tweets that have hashtags included in them increase engagement by two times for brands and by fifty per cent for individuals. You can use hashtags to your benefit to increase engagement and reach more audience.

When should you use hashtags?

You can use hashtags in your tweet whenever you are referring to a certain person or a certain topic in your tweet. Here is a list of things that you can use hashtags for.

Events: You can use hashtags for events because more people will be talking about it on social media. For example, #TrumpUKvisit or #Wimbeldon

Places: You can use hashtags whenever you are referring to a popular city or place. For example, #NewYork or #London

Themes: Certain people like to attach a theme to every day of the week. You can do the same and use hashtags like #ThrowbackThursday or #FridayFun

Things: You can also use hashtags for things in general like #cars or #coffee

Verbs: If you are posting about something that you are doing right now, then also you can use hashtags. For example, #cooking or #writing

Industry Terms: This works best if you are a brand. You can use hashtags that are relevant to your industry or niche like #SocialMedia or #photography

Other situations where you can use a hashtag is when a Hashtag has been allotted for a specific event or topic. For example, a fashion brand might be conducting a contest for which they might have used a specific hashtag. When you are tweeting about it, then you have to use that specific hashtag.

When should you not use hashtags?

ou should not use hashtags when you are advertising. If you are using advertising to drive traffic to your website, then it is one of the best practices not to use any hashtags or @ mentions so that the users do not click away from your advertisement.

How should you use Hashtags?

There are three top tips to follow while using hashtags.

  1. You are free to use more than one hashtag per post. You can use as many as you wish but Social media platform like Twitter recommends using no more than two hashtags per tweet.
  2. Do not use spaces in your hashtag. Whenever you hit space, your hashtag ends right there. For example, if you want to talk about the world cup then do not use ‘#World Cup’ because here your hashtag only refers to the world since you hit space after the word world. So use #WorldCup or #World_Cup.
  3. Do not use punctuation in hashtags. Using punctuation marks in your hashtag does the same what spaces do to your hashtag. Your reference topic gets cut off when use punctuation marks midway. For example, do not use ‘#It’sComingHome’. Use #ItsComingHome instead.

Now, you clearly know what hashtags are, why hashtags, how to and how not to use hashtags. Below is a guide on how to incorporate hashtags in your tweets and posts.

Before deciding to use hashtags in your posts, you need to follow two steps.

  •  Find trending hashtags
  •  Check the relevancy of your hashtags

find relevant hashtags

How to find trending hashtags?

There are multiple ways of finding trending hashtags. One of the most popular ways is using Twitter itself. On the left-hand side of your profile, Twitter automatically shows the top 10 trends tailored for you. If you click on show more, it will show you the top 20. You can use Hashtagify to find out the trending and popular hashtags. This is a great tool to find out what is trending. You can also check out TrendsMap. It is a tool that shows you the latest trends on Twitter for any place in the world. RiteTag is another excellent tool. Once you enter your keyword, it shows you two lists of hashtags. One list is for to get seen immediately and the other one is to be seen over time.

How to check the relevancy of your hashtags?

Your hashtags need to be relevant to your tweet so that you reach the right kind of audience. Here are different ways on how you can check the relevancy of your hashtag.

If you come across a hashtag and do not know what it means, then search its definition using Tagdef. Also, check out the hashtags your competitors of influencers in your niche are using. If they relate to your industry, then their hashtags probably relate too. Otherwise, you can always create your own hashtag. Create a short, catchy hashtag that hasn’t been used before and is likely to be searched for.

Hashtags are only becoming more and more important and relevant. They are here to stay. So while you are trying to increase your social media exposure, make sure you make complete use of this magical tool.