This is Part II in a series that answers all your questions about #hashtags: how to use hashtags, where to put them, where to find them, when to use them, what they are… Read Part I: Hashtags: The Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How
There is so much confusion about #hashtags, so I am answering all of your burning questions. If you still have any questions after reading, please leave them in the comments. I want you to be using hashtags like a pro!
Should I use a hashtag in my Twitter profile?
Good question. While profile hashtags may optimize your profile and make it easily found through Twitter search, they are also clickable, so visitors to your profile can click those tags and find other people and other posts using that tag. This can often cause your visitors to leave your page before taking any action.
In your profile, use your uniquely branded hashtags or the hashtags of an event that you run. Others (like #nutrition, #speaker, #entrepreneur) can be used simply as words (nutrition, speaker, entrepreneur), and just as easily found through search.
Can I use others’ hashtags?
No one “owns” a hashtag. But if there is a hashtag being used for a specific purpose (an event or a group discussion), you may want to choose something different. Otherwise you’ll get lost in the other discussion, you could anger the group using the hashtag because you are distracting from their content, and you will have a hard time getting found for your own category.
How do I see if a hashtag is popular?
Simply search on Twitter.
You can see if a hashtag is being used enough or too much, and for the reasons you expect. You may find that a lot of people are using your desired hashtag, but the meaning is very different than you assumed. If that is the case, you may not want to be lumped into that category. Choose a hashtag that is more fitting.
How do I create a hashtag? Can I just make them up or do they have to already exist somewhere?
There is no formal “creation” of hashtags. You can use any word or phrase, or even make up nonsense and put a hash mark in front of it. To see how to use hashtags to brand yourself and get attention, see Hashtags: The Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How (Part I).
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