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People have often asked me, "What is a hashtag and why is it so important?"

According to Twitter (it's best to go directly to the source, right?)

Definition: The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It was created organically by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages.

Using hashtags to categorize Tweets by keyword:

  • People use the hashtag symbol # before a relevant keyword or phrase (no spaces) in their Tweet to categorize those Tweets and help them show more easily in Twitter Search.
  • Clicking on a hashtagged word in any message shows you all other Tweets marked with that keyword.
  • Hashtags can occur anywhere in the Tweet – at the beginning, middle, or end.
  • Hashtagged words that become very popular are often Trending Topics.

Using hashtags correctly:

  • If you Tweet with a hashtag on a public account, anyone who does a search for that hashtag may find your Tweet
  • Don't #spam #with #hashtags. Don't over-tag a single Tweet. (Best practices recommend using no more than 2 hashtags per Tweet.)
  • Use hashtags only on Tweets relevant to the topic.

So, now you know how it all works, but you need a visual aid? Check out #BHSLV. (Click that link) This will show you all the the conversation that went on about the Las Vegas Convention. But, if you plan to read all of it get comfy now because it will take you a while. People from all over the globe (literally, check out these tweets from Japan and Sweden) were chatting about the International Convention at the MGM Grand. 

But don't just take my word for it, check out Long Live The Hashtag. It features our convention hashtag #BHSLV, showing how effective it is to use these little beauties properly.