Hashtags 101 

Have you ever attended an event or webinar that had a hashtag setup for it, and had no idea how to connect or join the conversation? We’ve outlined the basics below so you’ll never be left out of the online conversation again.

A hashtag is a # symbol followed by a keyword (ie: #EventName). Hashtags group similar social media posts together. They are also a great way to find target audiences and prospects that share similar interests, while uncovering and jumping on trending topics.

Hashtags have reached the mainstream and are now promoted during commercials, news broadcasts, events and conferences, and webinars. This encourages people to react to the topics within a collective stream and to engage in real-time conversations. Hashtags inspire conversations with people online who have a shared interest, and can be monitored to give promoters a true understanding of their audience’s reactions and experiences.

Creating a Hashtag for your Event, Webinar or Promotion 

First, determine whether you have a captive audience to engage with your hashtag. If your focus is promotional, this likely is not the best avenue for it. Events and webinars work well, because you have a captive audience of people who have signed up to engage with you and the other members of your audience.

Start by choosing a handful of keywords that you will use consistently and that appeal to your target audience. Additionally, find one branded keyword that relates to your company and that you can use in your promotional materials.

Before promoting a hashtag, complete a search to see if anyone is using it. If the hashtag is already being used, you may need to find one that is more unique to your company. (For example: if #GrapevineMarketing is already being used, try #GrapevineMktg or #GrapevineNH)

Twitter Chats 

You can participate in or start a twitter chat using a hashtag. This is a great way to open up an informal Q&A session during or after a webinar. Simply choose a hashtag and promote the date and time for your audience to join in. Monitor your hashtag during the time allotted, responding and interacting with anyone using it. This will allow you to give real-time answers to your audience’s questions.

Live Twitter Events 

Creating an event hashtag and promoting it before and during the event has gained a lot of traction in the business world. Event hashtags allow you to share key takeaways and connect with attendees’ colleagues and prospects before, during, and after the event.

Hashtags Cross Social Media Channels

More than half of the tweets on Twitter include a hashtag. To find a hashtag on Twitter, use the pound sign followed by the keyword in the search. Twitter is by far the most popular medium for hashtag conversations. Using Hashtags on Facebook is not as popular as on Twitter, but a search will bring you to a separate page with all the posts using a hashtag. Hashtags on Pinterest are not searchable and are only clickable in Pin descriptions.

How to Find Hashtags 

Seeing what’s trending gives you an idea of what hashtags to use in your posts. You’ll find trending topics on the left side of your Twitter stream. On Facebook, it is on the top right hand corner of your News Feed.

Don’t spam 

A hashtag can be used at the beginning, middle or end of a message. It is important to not hinder your overall brand and credibility over-tag single tweet  – use one to two keywords.

Jimmy Fallon & Justin Timberlake show how you can indeed overuse Hashtags:


The problem with protected tweets 

When you sign up for Twitter you can choose to keep your tweets public or protected. Protected tweets need manual approval of everyone who wants to follow you. Only approved followers can view you account therefore your hashtag will not show up in search if your accounts private.

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