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Note 224 – How using hashtags in Twitter can benefit writers


Although I’ve been tweeting in Twitter for nearly a year now, I’ve never really got the whole hashtag (#) thing, so I’ve decided to search for answers on hashtags in the Twitter Help function.

According to Twitter:

  • You can use hashtags (‘#’ symbol) to categorise your tweets, but the symbol needs to be used before a key word e.g. #writing or #punctuation.  This enables that word to be captured in a Twitter search..
  • Hashtagged words can become ‘trending topics’.
  • Hashtagged words can be anywhere in the tweet.
  • You can click on hashtagged words such as #grammar (in the middle of reading a tweet) and it will show all tweets in that category. 
  • You mustn’t overuse hashtags as it may be seen as spam i.e. don’t use loads in a row.
  • Twitter suggests a maximum of three hashtags per tweet.
  • Remember to make the hashtags relevant to the tweet i.e. stick to the topic.  

Sounds good so far…and there’s more…

  • You can search for popular tweets on a third party site called hashtags.org.  I’ve had great fun with this site today – everything I’ve typed in so far, is being used by someone in a recent tweet.

My thoughts

It appears that hashtags are created by Twitter users and can be used by anyone. Putting a hashtag next to a word in Twitter is just like adding a category or tag to a blog (except in the case of a tweet, the word that is tagged is in the tweet itself, unlike in a blog).

I have never used a hashtag in a tweet before, but I can now see the benefits of doing this and will start today when I post this blog on twitter. If I use a #writing hashtag, then my tweet will appear when users search the ‘writing’ category in Twitter.

Some example tweets using hashtags

  1. Sign up to my Twitter account @madeirasandra to follow My #Writing #Challenge. Enjoy!
  2. It’s only two weeks until #ChristmasEve – I hope you’ve done all your #shopping.
  3. #XFactor is on tonight and it’s a great show – especially the performance by #Michael Buble.

Does anyone else find that using hashtags in Twitter benefits them as a writer?

Until tomorrow…

Sandra
Freelance writer
www.sandramadeira.com
(For information on my services as a freelance writer as well as details of my book and other blogs).

This blog post forms part of My Writing Challenge.
Requests for future blogs (punctuation/grammar/writing tips) are always welcome

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About Sandra Madeira

I am a full-time working mum with a passion for writing and inspiring others. Please let me know what you think of my blog - constructive comments welcome. Have a great day Sandra Freelance Writer www.sandramadeira.com

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