Are you using hashtags to maximise exposure for your brand or client's Twitter account?
If you're not utilising hashtags, your content will drown in the vast sea of tweets. On the flip side, if you go hashtag crazy, your message will lose its punch.
It's crucial to keep up with the latest Twitter limitations (even if they're as temporary as a summer fling) and new policies, like the one where newly registered users can only access 600 tweets per day. And trust me, you want to make sure your brand gets a piece of that 600. One way to do that is by making your content relevant and targeted through the clever use of hashtags.
To address extreme levels of data scraping & system manipulation, we've applied the following temporary limits:— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 1, 2023
- Verified accounts are limited to reading 6000 posts/day
- Unverified accounts to 600 posts/day
- New unverified accounts to 300/day
In this comprehensive guide, you'll discover how to find and utilise Twitter hashtags that are relevant to your client's target audience:
- What are Twitter hashtags, and why should you use them
- The do's and don'ts of Twitter hashtags
- How to find trending hashtags for Twitter
- A list of popular Twitter hashtags
- A list of 66 niche hashtags for your clients
- How to check the relevancy of your Twitter hashtags
What are Twitter hashtags, and why should you use them
What is a Twitter hashtag?
Hashtags originated on Twitter in 2007, but nowadays, they're used on other social media platforms, such as:
A hashtag comprises two parts: the hash symbol - # - sometimes called the pound symbol in the US - immediately followed by a keyword or phrase. For example, putting the # symbol in front of the words 'Social Media Marketing (without a space) makes it a hashtag: #socialmediamarketing.
Why should you use Twitter hashtags?
Hashtags are a handy way of grouping and categorising tweets, and they help people follow topics in which they're interested. Anyone searching for a specific topic can find relevant tweets immediately rather than having to scroll through their Twitter feed.
Tweets with hashtags can spark lifts all across the marketing funnel, such as +18% message association, +8% brand awareness, and +3% purchase intent. Source: Twitter
This means that you should use hashtags to help people discover and engage with your content.
The do's and don'ts of Twitter hashtags
The list of hashtag do's
- Use one or more hashtags anywhere in your tweet. Twitter recommends using no more than two hashtags per Tweet, but you're free to use as many as you wish.
- Use hashtags to explore trending topics. You can either type them in the search bar or click on a hashtagged keyword under the trending post.
- Create a hashtag strategy to ensure consistency. Hashtags will help your client's brand to connect with trending topics on Twitter and the target audience.
- Come up with easy-to-remember branded hashtags. You'll want your followers to use the unique hashtag you created, so making them easy to spell and remember are the two prerequisites you'll need to tick off.
- Use a good mix of relevant and trending hashtags. Start experimenting by combining one niche hashtag with one popular hashtag.
The list of hashtag don'ts
- Don't use hashtags in your adverts if you're trying to drive traffic to your website. Twitter found that adverts without a #hashtag or @mention generate 23% more clicks.
- Steer clear of over-hashtagging. Using as many of these keywords as possible might be tempting, but this will confuse the algorithm. Remember that tweets should communicate one idea only.
- Don't make it weird. Hashtags should fit in naturally with the rest of your post. So if your brand's slogan and name don't make sense a lot of sense in that particular post - don't use them.
- Don't use spaces in a hashtag. For example, '#Social Media' would reference the topic of 'Social' as opposed to ‘#SocialMedia’, which references ‘Social Media’.
- Don't use punctuation in a hashtag. For example, #It'sComingHome won't work, although it’s grammatically correct. Use #ItsComingHome instead.
How to find trending and popular Twitter hashtags
There's no point in using a hashtag if nobody is searching for it. To help you find trending and popular hashtags for your tweets, utilise these tools.
The first place to check for trending hashtags is Twitter.
On the left-hand sidebar under your profile, you'll find a personalised list of the Top 10 Trends:
Note: some of these trends are topics rather than hashtags.
The trends are tailored to you based on your location and who you follow:
If you don't like what you see, you can click on 'Change' to select another location:
Pro Tip: The Twitter mobile app starts with the Top 5 Trends:
But you can tap on 'Show more' to reveal a list of the Top 20:
Hashtagify is a brilliant tool for finding both trending and popular hashtags. It lets you discover the best hashtags to reach your audience, gives custom suggestions, and helps you find your influencers and competitors.
Enter a hashtag you're interested in using. For example, let's stick with the #WorldCup:
And you'll see results for:
- Popularity = 79.5%
- Recent Popularity = 83.8%
- Month Trend = +31%
- Week Trend = -3%
Underneath those results are suggestions for related hashtags:
Followed by the popularity trend for the past few weeks:
Hashtagify also informs you of the top influencers related to your hashtag:
Other useful insights include the top countries and languages using the hashtag, to help with geo-specific messages. Plus, there's a Tweets Wall with a snapshot of current Tweets using the hashtag.
The premium plans offer more features and data including an extended list of the top influencers, hashtag suggestions for your posts, plus the option to bookmark your favourite hashtags.
Trendsmap shows you the latest trends from Twitter, for anywhere in the world. Click on a word or a hashtag on the map, and you'll get results for that location.
For example, clicking on the word 'rescued' in Canada displays the trending Calgary results for the heroic Thailand cave rescue:
Move the map over to the UK and click on #WorldCup to see all the latest trending tweets on the football world cup taking place in Russia:
Using Trendsmap, you can see how different locations react and discuss trending topics. Armed with that data, you can create messages that are more likely to get discovered by your target audience.
RiteTag is another excellent tool for checking both trending and popular hashtags. For instance, when you enter the term 'social media', RiteTag produces two lists.
For instant trending results, use the green-coloured hashtags to get seen now:
For long-term popular results, use the blue-coloured hashtags to get seen over time:
Also useful is the hashtags not to use:
And, if you like visuals, there’s a word map of connections and stats about your selected hashtag:
Using RiteTag, you get the complete picture for each hashtag.
Finding trending and popular hashtags is one thing, but that doesn't mean you have to use them.
5. Social media management tool
You can use your social media management tool, such as Sendible to find relevant hashtags for your tweets.
Sendible's social media listening feature allows you to better understand your clients' industries by monitoring hashtags, relevant keywords, and competitors on Twitter. This way, you'll be one step ahead of the competition as you'll spot trends quickly.
You can also use Sendible's Smart Compose Box to find relevant hashtags. All you need to do is start typing a hashtag, and you'll get a drop-down menu to choose the perfect one base on the volume.
A list of popular Twitter hashtags
Studies have shown that tweets which include hashtags are 33% more likely to be retweeted than those without them. But which specific hashtags are most likely to help you gain traction on the platform?
According to research by Hubspot, the most used and popular hashtags tend to be very general and can be used by most brands. They include:
When deciding which hashtags to include in your posts, remember the rule of relevancy - will your audience appreciate a post based around the subject of this hashtag? This also applies to hashtags which are trending or popular within your niche.
Celebrating holidays on Twitter is a great way to boost brand awareness and connect with your target audience. From holidays such as Valentine's Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, Halloween, and Christmas, to cause-related ones such as Earth Day, Pediatric Cancer Month, Black History Month, and LGBTQA+ Month, and those big sales such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday - we're sure you'll find the perfect ones to promote your client's brand while strengthening relationship with the Twitter community.
A list of 82 niche hashtags for your clients
To help you get started with creating an easy-to-optimise Twitter hashtag strategy for your clients' brands, we have created a couple of lists of popular niche hashtags divided by industries:
- Real estate
- Digital marketing agency
- Law firms
Real estate niche hashtags
An additional tip for real estate posts: Experiment with adding a hashtag of a city/town where the estate is located.
Learn more about real estate social media marketing.
Restaurants niche hashtags
An additional tip for restaurants and bars: If you're sharing a tip, recipe or a new dish/drink on the menu, make sure to use hashtags that describe it, such as #veganproducts, #sauce, #bakedgoods. Additionally, you can add a location hashtag to your post.
Learn more about social media marketing for restaurants.
Hotels niche hashtags
An additional tip for hotels: Add a location hashtag as well as branded hashtag to the mix.
Healthcare niche hashtags
An additional tip for healthcare brands: While you should use some of these hashtags in your posts, you need to keep in mind that a lot of other, non-healthcare brands use some of these hashtags to raise awareness. This is why you should include more precise hashtags to target the right audience. You could experiment with combining location and service hashtags along with the above-mentioned ones (e.g. #blooddonation, #teethwhitening, #dentalsurgery, #periodontist, #cancerprevention).
Learn more about social media for healthcare.
E-commerce niche hashtags
An additional tip for e-commerce businesses: Be aware that a lot of marketers use these hashtags in their posts. So, to make sure you're targeting the right audience, you'll have to get a bit more granular with your hashtag strategy. Are you an #entrepreneur sharing a #entrepreneurtip? Or are you offering a special #blackfriday #discount to the first 20 users that sign up for your #newsletter packed with #fashiontips? Are you running a #flashsale campaign or are you #hiringnow new #customerservice agents?
Learn more about how can social commerce help your e-Commerce efforts.
Digital marketing agency niche hashtags
An additional tip for social media and digital marketing agencies: sprinkle the hashtags in your copy as well. This way they'll become a natural part of your story and you'll be able to include other relevant hashtags, such as social media platforms (e.g. #TikTok), particular industries (#ecommercemarketing, #MarketingForStartUps, #DoctorsMarketing), and topics (#userexperience, #influencermarketing).
Learn more about how to promote your digital marketing agency on social media.
Fashion niche hashtags
An additional tip for fashion brands: The new generation of consumers cares deeply about causes you support, so make sure to tag your holiday and cause campaign posts with adequate hashtags such as #ecofirendly, #supportlocal, #prideweek.
Learn how to scale your fashion e-commerce business with the help of social commerce.
SaaS niche hashtags
An additional tip for SaaS businesses: Try combining these general hashtags with hashtags that are targeting your audience's pain points or interests, as well as what you specialise in (#cybersecurity, #CRO, #CRM, #socialmediamanagement).
Learn more about social media marketing for SaaS.
Franchise niche hashtags
An additional tip for franchises: Ensure to add popular Twitter hashtags that better explain the nature of the business, as well as the branded hashtag.
Learn more about franchise social media marketing.
Law firm niche hashtags
Experiment with mixing some of these general hashtags with a topic-relevant hashtag, such as #onlinelegaltraining, #techlaw, #intellectualproperty, #disabilityrights, #divorcelawyer. Learn more about social media marketing for law firms with our practical guide.
How to check the relevancy of your Twitter hashtags
Forcing hashtags into your tweets to attract attention amounts to spam.
For example, if you choose to use a trending hashtag like #WorldCup, but your message and possible link have nothing to do with the FIFA World Cup, then you've gained the wrong attention and audience. Even worse, if enough people complain, Twitter might block your account. So don't go there!
In short, your hashtags need to be relevant to the content you're posting.
Here are three ways to make sure they pass the relevancy test:
1. Check the definition of existing hashtags
If you come across a hashtag but you're not too sure what it means and whether it's relevant to your client's brand, then you could check the definition in TagDef.
For example, enter the hashtag #contentmarketing, and you'll see the definition below:
2. Check what hashtags influencers use
If one or more respected influencers in your industry or niche are using a hashtag, then there's a good chance it's relevant. But you can still make your own check.
Enter the hashtag in the Twitter search bar:
And see what content is being posted:
image source: Wave Video Twitter
Incidentally, the hashtag was used more than 400,000 times, garnering more than 2 trillion impressions on social media.
Creating a catchy hashtag is an excellent way to raise brand awareness, but remember to follow these three steps:
- Check if it exists - Make a thorough search on Twitter to ensure your proposed new hashtag does not exist already or has not been used previously in a negative way.
- Consider the length - A hashtag needs to be snappy and memorable. Creating a hashtag from a long phrase won't deliver the desired results and there's more chance of it getting mistyped. Three words or less should be enough to convey your message.
- Use capital letters - Twitter hashtags are not case sensitive, but using capital letters makes your hashtag more readable. Compare #socialmediamarketing and #SocialMediaMarketing. Plus, it also helps hashtags from being misinterpreted.
Hashtags are here to stay. They are so useful for identifying topics and getting in touch with your target audience that you can't afford to ignore them.
Using relevant hashtags on your client's tweets to reach new audiences and boost brand awareness is essential to keep your clients happy and attract new ones. So before you decide whether Twitter is truly a good social media platform for your client or not, you might wish to revisit your hashtag strategy.