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How to Master Twitter Hashtags Like a Boss

by Zia A., posted 2 months ago
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Four years ago the word ‘hashtag’ formally joined the ranks of the English language with an official entry in the Oxford English Dictionary.

#Shakespeareisrollinginhisgrave #RomeoandJuliet4Ever

Fast forward to 2018 and the hashtag is still majorly relevant on social media. When used correctly, hashtags can play an essential role in increasing exposure and engagement – according to Hubspot, some Twitter hashtags can lead to a greater than tenfold increase in engagement – not to mention, they’re also kinda fun.

Fun fact: did you know that the technical term for a hashtag is “octothorp”? ‘Octo’ refers to the eight points in the figure, and ‘Thorpe,’ well that’s decidedly less clear. 

Whether you want to use hashtags to build a temporary community, start a discussion on a particular topic, or create buzz for your brand, here are the things you need to know.

An Intro to the Twitter Hashtag

First, a little #Hashtag101. A hashtag is a keyword or phrase used to describe a topic or theme.

#fashion is a hashtag. So is #streetstyle or #whatiwore (both a little more specific under the general fashion umbrella).

Hashtags are an easy way to label your content and make it easier for others to find. When you use a popular hashtag in a post, that post can be found by everyone discussing that topic, increasing your exposure and engaging more users across the platform. But it’s not as easy as attaching a # symbol to every word. Especially on Twitter (where characters are limited), the hashtags you use should be carefully selected to give you the biggest return.

twitter hashtags

Best Practices  

Quality over quantity.

With only 280 characters per tweet, don’t eat up valuable real estate with endless hashtags. Tweets with 1-2 hashtags see around 21% more engagement so keep it short and sweet.

Better still, avoid generic hashtags where your message will only get lost among thousands of others. Instead, do some research and find niche tags that will get you a smaller, but more qualified audience. For instance, if you’re trying to promote a wedding dress boutique stocked to the hilt with vintage lace, adding the hashtag #hippiebride may attract a more qualified crowd than the hashtag #wedding.  

twitter hashtags

Let your words do double duty.

Unlike Instagram, where you can post up to 30 hashtags, Twitter (as we all know by now) is a much more streamlined soap box. In the Twitterverse, efficiency reigns supreme. What does that mean? It means if you’re tweeting about a topic and you’ve already mentioned a word in your message that you want to use as a hashtag, add the pound sign within your tweet. Let it do double duty and save you valuable character space.

For example,

twitter hashtags



twitter hashtags

Do your research.

The key to effective social media marketing? Location, location, location. No wait, that’s real estate. In this case,

Research, Research, Research.

 A little effort to research what’s appropriate and what’s trending will pay off big time in results.

The first place to look is in the sidebar to the left of your Twitter feed (or in the search tab on Twitter’s mobile app). There you’ll find a (location-based) list of trending topics and hashtags. A more targeted way to research is using a tool like Hashtagify, RiteTag, or Twitter Counter (we’re obviously a little biased toward this last one, but we really do have a great tool for hashtag research. Twitter tracker can help you stay on top of the game, monitoring the hashtags and keywords that are relevant to you.)

Go forth and hashtag.

Four years since the OED and hashtags are still #goingstrong. If you want to master the social media game, you’ve got to leverage every available opportunity, and hashtags are one of the biggest ones out there. Gain exposure. Engage more viewers. Grow your brand. It’s all yours for the taking, with one little octothorp. 


Twitter Counter is here to help you achieve all your social media marketing goals, including tracking key conversation indicators like hashtags and key words. Sign up today at and see what we can do.