What Is a Hashtag on Twitter?

Everything you need to know about using Twitter hashtags

A hashtag is a keyword or a phrase used to describe a topic or a theme, which is immediately preceded by the pound sign (#). Hashtags can help you find topics that are of interest. For example, "dogs" could be a hashtag, and so could "border collie puppy training." One is a broad topic, and the other is a phrase that's specific.

To create a hashtag, type the pound sign (#) before the word or phrase and don't use spaces or punctuation (even if you use multiple words in a phrase). So, #Dogs and #BorderColliePuppyTraining are the hashtag versions of these phrases.

Twitter app displaying #ring.
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A hashtag automatically becomes a clickable link when you tweet it. Anyone who sees the hashtag can click it to go to a page featuring the feed of the recent tweets that contain that hashtag.

Twitter users put hashtags in their tweets to categorize them and make it easy for other users to find and follow tweets about a specific topic or theme.

Twitter Hashtag Best Practices

It's great to use hashtags. Still, it can be easy to make mistakes if you're new to the trend. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Use specific phrase hashtags to hone in on a particular topic: Going too broad with a hashtag like #Dogs may not get you the engagement you want. A hashtag like #BorderColliePuppyTraining may include fewer irrelevant tweets and turn up better-targeted users tweeting or searching for that specific topic.
  • Avoid using too many hashtags in a single tweet: With only 280 characters to tweet, cramming multiple hashtags into a tweet leaves less room for your real message and looks spammy. Stick to 1 to 2 hashtags at a maximum.
  • Keep your hashtagging relevant to what you're tweeting about: If you're tweeting about the Kardashians or Justin Bieber, don't include a hashtag like #Dogs or #BorderColliePuppyTraining unless it's relevant. Make sure your tweets and hashtags have context if you want to impress your followers.
  • Hashtag existing words in your tweets to save room: If you're tweeting about dogs and mention the word "dogs" in your tweet text, don't include #dogs at the beginning or end of your tweet. Add a pound sign to the word within the tweet to keep it simple and save valuable character space.
  • Use Twitter trending topics to find hot and current hashtags: A "Trends for you" list appears in the right sidebar of your home feed on Twitter.com or in the search tab of the Twitter mobile app. It includes a list of trending topics that are a mix of hashtags and regular phrases according to your geographical location. You can also select #Explore in the right pane when using Twitter on the web to see other trending hashtags. Use these to get in on conversations that are happening at the current moment.
#Explore and Trends for you in Twitter on the web

Once you get used to seeing and using hashtags on Twitter, you'll wonder how you ever lived without them. This is one big social media trend that isn't going to fade away anytime soon!

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