Twitter was founded in 2006, and a year later, hashtags came into our lives. Today, hashtags are still alive and well on Twitter, although they are more popular on Instagram.
Social media algorithms need to take hashtags into account when categorising content. If tweets were the products in a supermarket, hashtags are the aisle signs.
So you should use hashtags to draw the right crowd in. You can use hashtags to increase your engagement, highlight your content or understand the public sentiment around a topic.
Let’s dive deeper into how to use and analyse Twitter hashtags.
- What are Trending Hashtags
- How to Use Hashtags?
- Creating Branded Hashtags for Campaigns
- For Activism and Expressing Opinions on a Particular Subject
- To Research and Conduct Sentiment Analysis About a Subject
- To Find Like-Minded People with the Same Interests
- How to Analyse Twitter Hashtags?
- How to Use Twitter Hashtags in 2022?
What are Trending Hashtags?
The first place to look for hashtags is the “What’s happening” section.
Trending hashtags are usually created when a topic gets a lot of traction. Twitter highlights this topic or the trending hashtag under the “What’s happening” section (or the search tab on your mobile app).
Twitter’s algorithm segments these popular trends into global and regional ones, as well as according to a user’s interests. The trending hashtags are usually created around the day’s news, events, and stories that go viral (i.e. #BackpackKid, circa 2017).
How to Use Hashtags?
You can use hashtags to search for accounts in a specific niche, increase the reach of your tweets, be part of a broader conversation, for sentiment analysis or do research on a subject.
Hashtags are also useful when you want information about other parts of the world. Trending hashtags are location-specific, so you can see what’s trending in another city or country by changing your location.
Let’s look at some examples of using hashtags.
Creating Branded Hashtags for Campaigns
If you want to highlight your services or products, you can create a unique hashtag for them. You have good chances of getting noticed by mentioning a trending topic (like an event, holiday, etc.) and using a branded hashtag can encourage others to do so.
For example, Android launched a new emoji for the Lunar New Year, and they tweeted during this trending holiday to highlight their product with the appropriate hashtag #Android.
According to Twitter data, Twitter ads with a branded hashtag get 10% more engagement.
Similarly, Coca Cola created the #ShareACoke hashtag when they changed the design of their bottles to have a popular name (i.e. Ashley), so people could share a coke with someone with that name.
For Activism and Expressing Opinions on a Particular Subject
Twitter is widely used by media companies, journalists, politicians, philanthropists and activists to spread the word about social issues. During movements, such as #BlackLivesMatter, many thought leaders shared their insight, informed people of underlying issues, and inspired society. Twitter hashtags make it easy to follow these discussions on Twitter.
Journalists use public opinion on Twitter to enrich their news stories, to find interviewees or interesting footage and other media.
Brands use similar hashtags for cause marketing: showing their social impact, causes they are involved with, and values on Twitter by using hashtags.
To Research and Conduct Sentiment Analysis About a Subject
When you want to learn more about a topic, you can use relevant trending hashtags to find prominent voices in the conversation. For example, during an event that concerns the world or a country, such as #Brexit, the public share their sentiment. Researchers looking into these country-specific or world events can understand whether the sentiment of the public is positive, negative or neutral.
Hashtags are also useful when looking to gather public sentiment around a product or a brand. Twitter makes it possible to collect customer reviews and conduct sentiment analysis about your brand or product. Email us at email@example.com if you need some extra help with this.
To Find Like-Minded People with the Same Interests
Hashtags can help you reach a wider audience and attract new followers in your niche. For example, if you are passionate about the keto diet, you can use the hashtag #ketorecipes to connect with people who are also doing keto.
Using hashtags to join industry discussions allows you to show your expertise and connect with potential collaborators. For example, you can use industry terms such as #design, #photography, #tech or niche interests such as #bitcoin, #NFT, #blockchain.
How to Analyse Twitter Hashtags?
There are many tools online to analyse Twitter Hashtags, but you can also conduct your own analysis using Twitter data.
Use Twitter Advanced Search
Twitter Advanced Search gives you the option to research if you are looking for public tweets about a subject or tweets sent using a hashtag.
You can search tweets by an account, tweets according to date, tweets with a certain level of engagement. You don’t have to use hashtags only. You can use keywords you want to include in your search too.
However, Twitter doesn’t let you download this data. So if you want to conduct an analysis, you can only do so by scrolling - which is not ideal.
Download Tweets with Your Chosen Hashtag
If you would like to conduct an in-depth analysis of a hashtag, you’ll need to be able to filter and organise the data. You can use twtData to target a hashtag and download all the tweets that were sent in the past 7 days using that hashtag for free.
This way, you’ll be able to import the data onto a data analysis or visualisation tool and analyse your hashtag by looking into the following metrics:
- Reach: How many times your chosen hashtag was used, do your tweets with that hashtag gain more reach?
- Mentions: How many mentions did you receive with this hashtag?
- Sentiment: What’s the sentiment around your hashtag: positive, negative, or neutral?
- Influence: Who uses this hashtag? Did any verified profiles use it?
You can also look at your competitors’ data to gather all the hashtags they are using.
Use a Third-Party App or Service
There are many tools that can help you find and analyse hashtags like Hashtagify or Trendsmap.
These tools visualise Twitter trends data in real-time. Monitoring Twitter hashtags via these tools can help you:
- Find the right hashtags to use quickly
- Improve your search for influencers
- Give you demographic and geographic information of people using the hashtag
- Help you understand public sentiment around hashtags
How to Use Twitter Hashtags in 2022?
There are simple rules when it comes to using hashtags and as Twitter’s algorithm changes, they change too. Here are some guidelines for using Twitter hashtags in 2022:
- You should always create memorable and simple hashtags.
- Less is more. Don’t use more than 2 hashtags per tweet.
- Use the following “Title” format: #HashtagsAreEasy, and not all capitalised lower case letters.
- Your hashtags should ideally fit your tweet organically. (Example: #Dune was great. I’ve never been more impressed with sound design before.)
- Finally, make sure you’re using the most common and correct version of a hashtag.
- Give your followers a reason to use your hashtag. (i.e. ask them a question)
We’ve covered some of the ways you can use and analyse Twitter hashtags. Monitor your tweets’ performance and compare the results when you use a hashtag vs when you don’t. Make a list of popular hashtags in your niche or industry, and keep an eye out for trends on Twitter to make sure you are a part of relevant, important online discussions.
We’re launching a new social listening service that provides sentiment analysis of tweets and hashtags; contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.