Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tips to Finding Relevant Twitter Hashtags

Today I promised I’d give you some tips to help find relevant hashtags for your tweets. If you’re not certain what a hashtag is, this post I wrote on connecting with twitter will help.

It’s important to use hashtags when you tweet—but even more important to use them correctly. One big thing you should avoid is using more than two or three hashtags per tweet. Otherwise you run the risk of being mistaken for a sales person or a spammer.

If you’re tweeting about a new subject, be sure to check the hashtags and pick ones that will correctly target your audience. For example, I’m targeting military families with my new book, Fighting Fear: Winning the War at Home When Your Soldier Leaves forBattle.

Since I don’t normally receive tweets about military subjects I began to research the best hashtags for my targeted audience. The first one I chose was #military. It sounded like a good choice, but researching it I came up with a lot of tweets about the best times to meet soldiers to get a date. Definitely NOT the audience I was looking for! Next I tried #militaryFamily and that took me to tweets directed at the people I wanted to reach.

I know your next question is going to be, “Where does someone research hashtags?”

I have four sites I recommend. All four are free resources and I don’t recommend one over the others, because they’re all slightly different and I find myself using them in different combinations.

The first is Hashtags.org. This site gives a list of trending hashtags, a graph and a search box to type in potential hashtags. After typing in a hashtag, it lists current tweets containing that hashtag.

Next is Trendistic.IndexTank.com. It also gives you a graph, along with a search box. But it’s graph allows you to check the trends for the past 180 days.

Another I like is WhatTheTrend.com. Like the others, What the Trend has current trends, a graph and a search box. I included it because it also explains why a particular hashtag is trending.

Finally, I also visit Trendsmap.com regularly. This site has a map that tells you what is trending where. This is particularly helpful if you’re targeting a specific area.

Another way to track hashtags is to find out the most popular keywords. To do this you need to check out Google Ad Words.

Now it’s your turn. How do you find the right hashtags? Also be sure to post any questions you have in the comment section.

Don’t forget to join the conversation!


  1. I've only used one of these websites...I had no idea there were so many places to look for hashtags :-). Thanks Edie! Great info!

  2. Edie, these are great tips. After about 6 months of Tweeting (yeah, late joiner), I still consider myself a newbie. Love your wisdom.

    Question: What do you think about silly hashtags...the just for fun, witty ones? I tend to get a kick out of how Jenny B Jones or Jon Acuff sometimes use them. Okay? Once in awhile? Steer clear? What are your thoughts?

  3. Lynn, there are lots more sites, but I didn't want to overwhelm everyone!
    Melissa, I LOVE the witty ones, especially when it fits the person's style. They definiitely fit your voice! Thanks for stopping by.
    Blessings, E

  4. So, when you see the first few words of the post, you click on it to view the entire post in order to see what it's about?

  5. Great tips on how to find your tribe through hashtags.

  6. The whole twitter thing is new to me and I'm barely grasping it. Currently, I'm helping a 7-yr-old writer diagnosed with autism garner votes so she can win a scholarship. I tweeted using #autism and #writer. If you have other thoughts, I would love to get your advice. Thanks.

  7. Yay, thanks for answering my question, Edie! This is super helpful. :D

  8. Thank you for the links. I've been looking for something like this to find out where to reach YA readers.

    Just an FYI, your link to trendistic is wrong. It's: http://trendistic.indextank.com/

  9. Ellen, I'm not sure what you're asking. Why don't you email me and I'll see if I can help.
    Stacy, thanks for stopping by!
    Michael, those hashtags sound good, but I'd look them up anyway to make certain.
    Lindsay - thanks for asking the question! The people who follow this blog are the ones who help me create the content.
    LJ, thanks for the heads up on Trendistic - I fixed it! I appreciate you stopping by.
    Blessings All, E

  10. Thank you for the post. It was a great help. I had no idea these websites existed. God bless You.

    Glenda Parker

  11. Thanks for the sites, Edie. I haven't always used hashtags, but when I did, I just used whatever word I thought would work. Great to know I can find specific ones!

  12. Edie, Wow! Glad to find this. Excellent. I tweeted this site. I'm just getting into learning social media and wrote a short blog about Hashtags and Ash Wednesday. http://writingstraight.com/2012/02/22/ash-wednesday-and-hashtags/

  13. As always, you're right on top of things! Thanks for the resources. I've always just dreamed up something, did a search, then poked around until I found the right thing.

    Thanks for all the time-saving tips!!

  14. Glenda, thanks so much for stopping by!
    Vonda and Susan, I was really glad to find out about these sites too!
    Holly, I appreciate you stopping by. You have a great website and I'm adding it to my favorites.
    Blessings All - E

  15. Edie, I didn't know you could research hashtags, so thanks for the info. Will try to use them more efficiently now.

  16. These should be very helpful. Thank you. I tweeted and pinned this post. :)