What is a Hashtag?

The hashtag was invented as a label for groups and topics in IRC chat. Thanks to Twitter and other social networks  it is now a simply a way for people to search for tweets that have a common topic.

If for example you search on #masterchef you’ll get a list of tweets related to the BBC program Masterchef. You will not get a list of tweets that say, “I have bought a masterchef oven tray” as it is not prefixed with a #

Hashtags are becoming useful for finding out what’s going on. Search for ‘trainers’ on Twitter can generate all types of results, business trainers, sales trainers,  smelly trainers. A search for #coolfootwear will give a more specific result.

Many TV shows now activly promote a #hashtag on screen, this has proved very powerful as it gets like minded people in one place. You can use this to promote yourself or product (in a subtle way and as long as it is relevant) using the hashtag. Tweeting whilst the show is on gives you more of a targetted audience.

You can create your own hashtag, just add it to a tweet. Ensure it is unique and not being used for something else completely unrelated. They are a great way to generate buzz around a marketing campaign.