This is part two of the aforementioned two-part post dedicated to the Twitter hashtag. If you missed part one, you can catch up here.
There are two sides of this: following hashtags and tweeting hashtags. Personally, I tend to follow tweets tagged with #socialmedia and #pr. This allows me to receive up-to-the-minute news (and non-news) that is relevant to me. Also, do a little research to see if the topic you’re trying to follow has a designated hashtag: #jan25 for the Egyptian Revolution, #jpquake, etc. (Worth following, as of today? #GovtShutDownPickupLines. Serious situation, funny punchlines.)
The flip side of listening to Twitter hashtag streams, of course, is jumping in and joining the conversation. In order to find which hashtags your desired audience is using, do some research: use TweetDeck or search.twitter.com to compare potential hashtags. Trying to connect with fashion bloggers? You’ll notice #fashion, #style and #fashionblog fare better than #fashionblogger or #blog. Where to begin finding these keywords? Search for big-name Tweeters in your industry and take note of the hashtags they are using.
When to make up your own hashtag
If you are hosting a web chat or trying to start a conversation with your audience, it can be helpful to make up your own hashtag. Hashtags allow a brand (business or personal) to evaluate whether users are picking up on their message. Sarah Evans’ daily digest #Commentz is a great example of this: throughout the day, people tweet information gleaned from the digest:
Hashtag Caution: Don’t over use hashtags. Not only does this appear spammy, it breaks up an otherwise useful message and is visually distracting. Only use hashtags that are relevant to what you’re talking about; Twitter best practices recommend using no more than three in a tweet.
Social PR Hashtag Tip
Include hashtags and Twitter IDs in your press releases to let your audience know there is a hashtag to follow! We like to follow conferences like #SES and #PubCon. What are some of your favorite hash tags?
Did we miss any useful hashtag tips? Let us know in the comments section!