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In today’s world, hashtags are everywhere. They abound on the Internet. People use hashtags when they talk. Heck, some people are even naming their babies hashtag. But just what are hashtags and how can you use them to become a successful blogger? Read on to discover all of that and more.
What Is a Hashtag?
A hashtag, which is a word with a pound sign (#) appearing right before it, with no spaces, is Twitter's system for tagging and categorizing their network content. According to Twitter, hashtags let users define tweets according to specific keywords. But in reality, hashtags function in a much broader scope. Hashtags reflect conversations, trends, movements, etc. Hashtags are open to the public, and people can use them to boost the number of followers they have.
What Sites Are Using Hashtags?
It used to be that hashtags were primarily for Twitter, but now all kinds of sites are embracing the cultural phenomenon of the hashtag. Some of the social sites using hashtags include: App.net, Diaspora, Facebook, Flickr, Friendfeed, Google+, Instagram, Kickstarter, Tout, Vine and Waywire. When you click a hashtag on one of these sites, it will take you to a list of other people who have used that same hashtag. If it is a really popular hashtag, you’ll probably see the most influential people listed who have used that hashtag.
What do Hashtags do?
Hashtags let users add current affairs and interesting topics to their content. They’re crucial for SEO because, when used correctly, your content should keep appearing in streams that are popular and relevant. When it comes to remarketing older content, hashtags are especially useful. After the initial spike of excitement when you publish a post, that post typically gets shelved on your blog where it sits and collects dust. But with hashtags, you can generate a buzz among readers with something you’ve already created. Just like those off-the-shoulder sweatshirts from the 80’s that are in style now, some things are still just as good (if not better) a second time around.
How do You Choose a Good Hashtag?
The type of hashtag you create or choose depends on the goal behind the hashtag. For example, if you want a hashtag for a certain event, whatever hashtag you use should be relevant to that specific event. You want to avoid creating hashtags that other people unrelated to the event might use. For this reason, it’s a good idea to make your hashtag as tailored to the event as possible, and you should also include the year. If, on the other hand, you want to promote a recent blog post and raise awareness among people, you should go with a non-branded hashtag that’s already popular.
Certain tools are available to help you identify a hashtag’s popularity, show the popular tweets that use them, and suggest related hashtags. Some of the best tools are:
Topsy – A social analytics tool that indexes tweets and gives a statistical breakdown of current trends and conversations.
Tagboard – According to the creators of the site, “tagboards are live collections of social media posted with hashtags, arranged in a dynamic, visual mosaic.”
Hashtagify.me – Allows you to find the most optimal hashtags to connect with your audience.
How Can I Use Hashtags to Get More Traffic to My Blog?
If you want to drive traffic to your blog using hashtags, there are a few things you can do. First of all, you can use hashtags with specific themes. This is good any time you are trying to promote a specific landing page, contest or blog. You can use this technique to reference specific contests or to promote your blog in its entirety. For example, using the hashtag #mybrilliantblog creates a space where other people can discuss your blog too. Any time someone posts a tweet that uses your hashtag, it will appear in that hashtag search’s feed.
An alternative strategy is to use hashtags that are generally related to a post. With this approach, you should create hashtags that revolve around the topics you’re writing about on your blog. For instance, a blog post about the aftermath of a massive winter storm might feature the popular hashtag #endwinternow.
How Can I Use Hashtags to Attract More Followers?
Jumping in on hot topics that are currently trending is probably the best way to attract more followers to your blog. Doing this allows you to become a part of global conversations, and when you’re a part of something global, that people around the world take an interest in, it logically follows that you’ll expand your reach and snag more followers. You can also be witty and clever and use popular hashtags that aren’t currently trending to attract followers to your blog.
How Can I Find People to Connect With?
Mentionmapp is an excellent place to start finding people associated with the topics you tweet about. You should also try exploring the hashtags you frequently use and participate in the conversations circling those topics. Make Twitter lists of the people who you see popping up most frequently.
Some Final Thoughts…
Spend a little time surfing the web and you can’t help but notice: hashtags have arrived. And based on the way things are going, it looks like they’re here to stay. Use them correctly, and you just might find that hashtags can help you generate blog traffic, expand your reach, connect with others and more! And on that note, it’s pretty clear: #hashtagsrule. Don’t underestimate the #powerofthepoundsign.
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