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How to Use the Hashtag in Your Twitter Marketing and Communications

When you put a pound sign (#) in front of a keyword on social media sites, you’re using a hashtag. The hashtag makes it easy to follow a conversation centered on a keyword or topic. If yours is a sausage brand and you want to create a recipe contest around your famous kielbasa, you might use #kielbasarecipes as your hashtag. The benefits to using a hashtag over an @reply abound:

  • Hashtags catch the attention of others. Sometimes people aren’t necessarily part of a conversation but join in after espying a catchy hashtag in their Twitter streams.

  • Hashtags add longevity to a conversation. An @reply can die in a busy Twitter stream, but following the hashtag will allow you to view all tweets in a conversation at one time.

  • Hashtags allow tweets to appear in a stream even if the other party doesn’t @reply you. Often during Twitter chats or hashtag campaigns, folks in the conversation don’t use an @reply to catch your attention but instead rely solely on the hashtag. When you view a hashtag chat using an app such as HootSuite or TweetChat, you can better view the entire conversation at one time.

  • You can measure the results of a hashtag. Several apps and services, such as Radian6 or Hashtracking, not only have the ability to offer a transcript of a hashtag but also offer data from all the people who use the hashtag — for example, how many people viewed the hashtag, how many people clicked links, and who are the most influential people using the platform.

When you use hashtags, you can take your Twitter conversations to a whole new level. Hashtags allow you to have, keep track of, and measure a conversation, something very important to anyone marketing a brand.

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