Secrets of Using Twitter HashtagsAt first glance, hashtags – or pound signs, as they’re called outside the Twitterverse – may seem confusing, but their purpose is basic: They organize topics and make them more search-friendly.

Here are some hashtag basics:

  • You can use a hashtag within your message or outside the main message. For example, “I heard Kate will wear flats to the #royalwedding” or “Kate may wear flats on her wedding day! #royalwedding.”
  • Hashtags can be a good way to find Tweeters with common interests. For example, go to the Twitter home page, type the pound sign and “steel” (#steel) in the search box in the upper left side of the page, and then click on the magnifying glass. You’ll get a list of tweets that have #steel in them on the left. On the right you’ll see “People results for #steel” and a list of Twitter accounts that have the word “steel” in them. These may or may not be relevant. Check them before taking Twitter’s follow suggestions and cluttering your feed.  You can then save your #steel search by clicking on the “save this search” button beneath the search box.
  • Some popular hashtags include: #giveaway, #discount, #coupon, #sale and #followfriday.
  • Keep in mind that you can overuse hashtags. If you’re loading up each tweet with multiple hashtags, your Tweet will look spammy and others may unfollow you. Look at how Tweeters in your line of work use hashtags to determine what’s acceptable.
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