#Hashtag your way to Tweet Success

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Clever use of hashtags on Twitter ads value and makes it much easier to follow conversations

A hashtag is a way to join tweets of conversations together in Twitter. You enter the hash mark # before a word or phrase to create the keyword; omit spaces or replace them with underscores to grab the entire phrase. The hashtag then becomes a clickable link. Twitter users who click on a hashtag will see a real-time stream of everyone who’s used it in their posts.

To start with follow @hashtags and they’ll automatically follow you back and start tracking your hashtags for you.

Once you start to actively use hashtags to promote your business, organisation or blog make sure the word or phrase you use is unique to you. Go to http://hashtags.org/ to see if you’re preferred hashtag is already being used for other posts. Also if you want your posts to be found by other people interested in the same topic like Social media for instance you might use #socialmedia or #socmed and for Customer Service use #custserv or #crm. It's important to know which hashtag has been widely adopted so your tweets have the most chance of being noticed

For social media campaigns hashtags are a great way to monitor and track replies, sentiment and engagement. Anyone using clients like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck can easily create a tab or column tracking a hashtag so for people following that topic it makes it so much easier to participate and engage.

Hashtags are widely used to live blog an event on Twitter. So for the Auckland Social Media Club events we use #SMCAKL. Event based hashtags allow people to follow threads of conversation before during and after the event helping to keep the conversation going and building on relationships and connections made. It increases the level of engagement around your brand, event or topic.

One of the most popular hashtags is #followfriday or #ff where people tweet a recommendation for another tweeter and add the #ff tag so if can be picked up by aggregation sites that show followfriday stats and the most recommended people.

For new people and businesses just starting to use Twitter, hashtags are a great way to start monitoring tweets around your topics of interest. They will quickly help you identify key influential people you need to engage and what topics or conversations are poignant right now.

Hashtag-jacking is a popular sport but as with the case with the #iranelection which trended on Twitter.com for months an intern at a UK furniture store piggybacked on this hashtag’s popularity by using it in their Twitter promotions, and we're publicly busted for the tactic

Twitter trends profile hashtags that are popular right now. Getting your tag trending is a common goal, a measure of success for a marketing campaign. But for New Zealand, getting a trending hashtag on Twitter is almost impossible so check out http://trendsmap.com/local/nz/auckland for local popular topics

What are your favorite hashtags to follow?