Using Hashtags in Twitter: 3 Simple Steps to Better Discoverability

Building a following on Twitter is not as straightforward as it seems.
Everyone tells you that Twitter is about conversations and is not meant to be a one-way communication tool. But many brands fail at this because all they talk about is their own company, blog, product or service.
Twitter is a constant feed. If you want people to follow you, what you tweet must be something they’re so interested in that they wouldn’t mind seeing your views about it a few times every day. You need to keep three important points in mind:
  1. Focus on a domain.
  2. Find a voice – informational, entertaining or slapstick humour. Whatever works for you.
  3. Connect with people to help them find resources, appreciate their work and simply, have fun.
If you’re simply going to follow the feed from people you follow, you’re apt to miss out on some important conversations and great tweets will get buried with time. The same applies to your own tweets. So what can you do?
Use hashtags. It’s amazing how many people miss out on this. It helps people who don’t even know you find your tweets. For instance, if you’re a fitness expert using hashtags like #fitness, #loseweight, #getfit and #fitnessmotivation will help your tweets get discovered by people who follow these popular hashtags for useful content.
So let’s get to the crux of the matter. How can you jump in? As always, it’s good to step back, make a plan and try and stick to it (most of the time).

#1 Find hashtags relevant to your domain

You don’t have to second-guess yourself about which hashtags are the best ones to follow. There are a plethora of tools out there that will help you find hashtags based on trends, groups of people, location and more. Some of them are:
  2. Trendsmap
  3. Twubs
  4. What the Trend
  5. Rite Tag
Each of these tools has their own strengths. For example, Trendsmap is a great way to identify trending tags based on location, while will show you which tags are most relevant to the one you searched for.

#2 Follow tweets, people, news and more associated with the hashtag

using hashtags
When you type a hashtag followed by a keyword (eg. #Marketing) in Twitter’s search bar, you can see some filters on the left pane for the feed that shows up. You can choose to see people, tweets, videos, photos, news and timelines for a particular hashtag.
This can help you:
  1. Find influencers in your domain and follow them
  2. Cut out the noise and find the best tweets for a domain
  3. Start conversations around these tweets by replying to them, retweeting them or adding them to favorites.

#3 Using hashtags in your own posts

Now that you have an idea of how this works, you’re ready to start using hashtags in your own tweets. Tweets with hashtags get twice as much engagement as tweets without them.
Some things to keep in mind:
  1. Don’t abuse hashtags. Use only one or two per tweet.
  2. Use relevant, popular hashtags.
  3. Make your own hashtags too when you’re working on a branding effort for an event, service or a product.
Which hashtags do you end up using the most in Twitter? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section.