Twitter Tip: “Does One Just Pick a Hashtag?”

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So you’ve been slowly getting the hang of this whole Twitter hashtag thing.

Quickly, a hashtag allows you to follow a conversation about a particular event or topic.

Just search the designated hashtag and all the tweets with the hashtag come up.

In case you were wondering how you come up one for your own event, here are a few things to think about on your quest for the perfect hashtag.

Where do you start?

Usually the organizer of the event is going to be the one choosing the hashtag. The most frequently used method is to just use the initials of the event or topic name.

For example: People talking about the show So You Think You Can Dance would tweet with the tag, #sytycd.

You’ll notice that keeping the hashtag short is a good idea. #SoYouThinkYouCanDance doesn’t leave much room for someone to actually add commentary to the tweet. Remember the hashtag counts toward your 140 character limit.

Once you have an idea for what you’d like to use, you’re not done yet.

What to do before you make it final

Be sure to do a search for the hashtag you’d like to use before you make your final decision. This way you’ll be sure others aren’t already using it. This way you won’t be invading anyone else’s territory. You’ll also reduce the chances of excess noise in the search that’ll just confuse everyone.

Here’s an example: The ongoing and lively theater discussion at #2amt, originally started as #2am. But it was quickly changed because of all the irrelevant tweets showing up. Things like, “It’s 2am and I’m so drunk.” Yikes!

Be sure to spread the word

Once it looks like you’ve got your perfect hashtag, be sure to let people know. Both on Twitter, so those who can’t make it to the event can follow along, and at your event so the live attendees are adding to the discussion.

Remember Twitter hashtag events and discussion area great way to engage people with what you’re doing. So if you haven’t done so yet be sure to participate in one. Or better yet, get your own event going.

Summary:

  • Choose a short hashtag to signify your event or discussion
  • Be sure to search your choice on Twitter first before the final decision is made
  • Spread the word about your new tag so people can participate

What are some your favorite hashtags? What ways do you use them?

New to Twitter? Check out Dave’s Free Beginner’s Guide to Twitter.

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{ 4 comments }

1 Mary Green September 7, 2012 at 6:25 pm

Hi Dave, good post on choosing hashtags. I was looking for a hashtag tool, or list or directory, do you know of one?

2 Dave Charest September 9, 2012 at 8:13 pm

Thanks Mary. Here’s a good place to start: http://www.hashtags.org

3 Mary Green September 9, 2012 at 8:20 pm

Thanks Dave, I was looking for a source for my latest Twitter blogpost. I found TagDef though, that seems like a good option. I swear I tried Hashtags.org and it wouldn’t load, it does now though.

4 Dave Charest September 9, 2012 at 8:31 pm

Cool, let me know when the post is up!

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