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Explore the Twitter Hashtag

There is a pretty useful trick that twitter insiders use all the time called a hashtag. The roots of the #tag are buried somewhere in IM coding, but it’s what you can do with it using twitter that matters. (More on hashtags if you want to techie stuff on this.)

The hashtag or #tag added to a tweet acts as way to create categories, groups or topics for tweets that others can use as well. This way, tweets can easily be grouped together using the search.twitter.com feature.

Let me give you a very commonly used tactic for this. Let’s say a group of folks are attending a workshop and tweeting their notes in real time. If everyone at that workshop were asked to add something like #mkt101 to their tweets, everyone present or not can see and share all the notes in one place.

During earthquakes and fires hashtags are a great way for people to get news.

Promoting events and product launches via a hashtag helps keep the word in context

Companies often use hashtags as a way for remote employees to use twitter as a communication tool for all the stuff people should stay on top of.

I use a hashtag for each of my live webinars and then people tweet and ask questions via twitter and I have a back channel of conversation and notes and another source of relevant content to support the webinar.

You can also find hot trends via hashtag at search.twitter.com. The homepage lists the trending tags. More than one twitter user has found that jumping into a hot trend conversation is a great way to connect with folks on something of shared interest.

Anyone can create a hashtag by putting # in front of anything. Keep is short so you don’t use up your 140 and try for a little unique. If you use a tag that others are using you will mingle your results with others.

Here’s an example of a search for the hashtag I used during the call with Seth Godin last week – #dtmseth

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  • http://www.clickandinc.com Click and Inc

    This seems to be a pretty popular program. Thanks

  • http://marketingrooster.com Charles Newman

    It seems like I learn something new about twitter every day – thanks for this great tip!

  • http://www.maxinegocios.blogspot.com Fabio Platero

    Great post Mr.Jantsch as always. We definitely need to use the power of our social networking to focus on innovative ways.

  • http://www.lotusjump.com SEO Software

    hashtags have also been a great way to meet new people who share a similar interest.

  • http://www.jackzufelt.com/ Zack Zufelt

    Great post for those that didn’t know about this very cool tool. It’s a very popular method for me and my business.

  • http://www.smasra.com Money Academy

    this thing which called twitter have the new everyday !

    it become too popular , but it offer good service
    i still new in twitter so i should search as you write about friends in twitter

    thanks John

  • http://www.geckotribe.com/rss/carp/ Antone Roundy

    Expanding a little more on how to use hashtags, here’s how Shawn Collins (Affiliate Summit co-founder) displayed all the tweets with the Affiliate Summit West 09 hashtag (#asw09) on the Affiliate Summit homepage:

    http://www.geckotribe.com/blog/carp-in-the-wild-affiliatesummitcom/

  • http://www.vbpoutsourcing.com VBP

    This is great. I am going to start using this feature to my advantage.

    VBP

  • http://www.ychange.com Small Business Marketing

    John: Thanks again for something very practical and of immediate value. That is why I keep coming back for more.

  • http://the-edge-va.com Ros Null | The Edge VA

    Hashtags are a fantastic way to share information on set topics with your followers. I always enjoy Mari Smith’s tweets at the various events she attends. She is always sure to tag her tweets to make it easier to track them. Twitter is such an amazing tool!

  • http://www.yellowseo.com Yellow SEO

    John: thanks will have to start using this in my tweets

  • http://jalada.co.uk Jalada

    Using hashtags is great combined with http://twitterfall.com, which gives you a realtime view of popular trends (including hashtags) and also gives you the option of adding your own search trends. Saves you having to use search.twitter.com refreshing all the time, and has a really nice UI too! :-)

  • joel

    I'm a little confused. If you're hashtagging during a webinar/seminar, does everyone have to be following you or are you setting up a new twitter account for that webinar only?

  • http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog ducttape

    Joel – when a hashtag is used all you have to do is search for it on search.twitter.com and then you will get the results of tweets from anyone, follower or not, that uses the hashtag text.

  • http://www.ehow.com/members/paperbackchic.html Dawn

    Thanks for the info…I was really confused about hashtags on twitter so I went looking for answers and found u! Best wishes.

  • cheinyeanlim

    Twitter trending topics, search and related applicatins thrive on these hashtags, as they serve as noted keywords in the sea of tweets going through the microblogging platform. So determining the perfect hashtag is akin to creating the perfect title for a blog post.

    http://www.pupuweb.com/blog/promote-yourself-wi

  • stacykinney

    Great explanation of use of Hashtags. Love the idea about using during an event to communicate with others. Thanks.

  • stacykinney

    Great explanation of use of Hashtags. Love the idea about using during an event to communicate with others. Thanks.