The recipe for a great Tweet includes a combination of great content, a URL link (to follow for more information) and hashtags.  Small and medium sized businesses need to effectively use hashtags in their Tweets to communicate their message and reach out to individuals and/or companies who aren’t necessarily ‘following’ them on Twitter.  Understanding what a hashtag is, where to find hashtags, and best practices for using hashtags will help any company that uses Twitter get the most out of this social networking platform.

What Is a Hashtag?

  • hashtag is a keyword or topic that starts with the # (pound) symbol (i.e. #Twitter)
  • Hashtags are not case sensitive, do not include any spaces if multiple words are used (i.e. #SocialMedia), and can be placed anywhere is in Tweet/message.
  • Hashtags are used to help Twitter users find conversations around a specific keyword or topic (as clicking on a word with a hashtag will display all other tweets/messages that have used that hashtag).


How Do I Find Hashtags To Use In My Next Tweet/Message?

  • Start by looking at the hashtags that influential individuals and/or companies in your industry use in their Tweets.  Make a note of popular hashtags that are used so that you can incorporate the hashtag in your next Tweet.
  • Research potential hashtags by going to and entering your keyword (with the # symbol in front of it) to see if the hashtag is being used.  If you own a local business, search for hashtags that are specific to your city (i.e. use #Calgary, #YYC to find conversations related to Calgary).


Twitter screenshot - Search


  • Look at the sidebar of your Twitter profile to see a list of hashtags that are currently popular in your defined geographic area.


Twitter Screenshot - Trends


Hashtag Best Practices:

  • Limit the number of hashtags used in a Twitter message to two hashtags.
  • Keep your hashtag short and to the point.  Remember that you only have 140 characters to communicate your message and hashtags are subtracted from your character limit!
  • Ensure that the hashtag is relevant to your topic before you use it.


Helpful Resources:

  • Follow @twittersmallbiz for helpful tips/information from Twitter’s dedicated team of business specialists
  • Search Twitter’s Help Centre to find answers to your questions about Twitter


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