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Why You Should Use Hashtags on Twitter ~ LockerGnome News and Views

October 20, 2011

If you use Twitter, you have undoubtedly seen other Twitter users employ the use of hashtags. These are phrases preceded by the # sign, and these hashtags are used to organize tweets around a single topic so that all related tweets are easily searchable on Twitter. You may have seen users use the hashtag #FollowFriday every Friday, which Twitter users use when they recommend other people to follow (usually on Fridays). The use of a hashtag is designed to help other users find your tweet about a popular (and usually trending) topic, even though they may not be following you. This is because hashtags are searchable, and other Twitter users can do a search for that hashtag on Twitter (or with their third party app, like TweetDeck) and pull up all the tweets containing that hashtag.

Though some people use hashtags to make their tweet funny or as a kind of side note, using popular hashtags can accelerate your tweets — and the content you tweet about — towards the eyes of hundreds or thousands other Twitter users who may not follow you. For example, if you’re a blogger who has an opinion about Occupy Wall Street and wrote about the topic on your blog, you may not find that many of your current followers care about what you have to say (especially if you tend to blog about completely unrelated topics). By using the hashtag #OccupyWallStreet when you tweet about your blog post — or even just tweet your opinion about the situation — your tweet will be seen by anyone who is searching for that hashtag or has a dedicated search in an app like HootSuite or TweetDeck. This can attract more readers to your blog, as well as more followers.

Do you use Twitter hashtags? Do you find them useful or useless? Let us know in the comments.

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