Finding the best Twitter hashtags and how to use them

Twitter was built on the power of hashtags. It’s a way of finding out what’s happening right now in conversations around the world, and in your communities.

Hashtags are not only a social tool to help jump right into a conversation and talk about the latest news, or to have some laughs on the variations of #covfefe, or just any variation that involves Donald Trump actually. They’re also a great SEO tool, as a way of standing out in your area of expertise and to focus in on the conversations that matter to you and your brand. As an artist, it’s invaluable to use hashtags and relevant Twitter handles, to get your work noticed and begin a dialogue with those who matter.

Either way you use them, hashtags in your marketing strategy is key to promoting and boosting your content beyond your own followers and to a much wider and engaged audience.

But where can I find the right hashtags to use on Twitter, I hear you cry? Or hoot? These tips will give you a head start on the platform to find the right hashtags for you, and the most popular ones to tweet about, so you can cut through the social noise and make your content sing!

Twitter Native

They’re all there waiting for you when you log in! You actually have a trending sidebar on the Twitter website, which is tailored to you. You can choose the tailored option, which will show you the accounts you follow and engage with the most who are trending, or you can keep it simple and follow the trends happening in your country or locally. Although it only gives you a snapshot, this is still the best and most accurate way of finding out what’s trending right now on Twitter.



Hashtags by day

Want some #MondayMotivation to get you through the day? Have that #FridayFeeling? Daily hashtags are the easiest way to jump right into a conversation, and connect with your local or wider community. They also give you a load of inspiration to get creative with your content, which you can monopolise on and incorporate in your content schedule and social strategy. By using them correctly, you’ll make yourself more visible and help boost your engagement.

Here are some to get you started:

twitter dailies

Hashtag search tools

There are a number of sites that will help you find the right hashtag for your industry and give you real-time trending data. You will need to invest in most, but others offer free trials and easy access. is a quick and easy tool to search for hashtags in your related field. It gives you a nice little report on how popular it is, who else is using it around the world, and other relevant hashtags you can use to combine with your tweet. Trendsmap is an awesomely fun and visual way of finding out current trends by location. Knowing what people are talking about by location will allow you to geo-target your messaging and segment your audience to make your content even more relevant. The Hootsuite scheduling platform is also great for geo-targeting, which you can add to your streams for easy access.

trends map

Hashtag rules to live by

  • Try not to use more than 2 hashtags in a tweet. It can be an over-hash. And you don’t exactly have a lot of character count to play with!
  • Always try and include a hashtag within the sentence so your tweet can flow better. Remember, a hashtag isn’t the focus of the tweet, it should anchor it and help pull focus to your content.
  • Obvious hashtags to use around the arts are: art / artwork / artist / followart / artopps
  • Always look at what other artists and art businesses/galleries are doing. If you want to engage in conversation and talk about certain topics, then make sure to use hashtags specially created for the purpose – that way your tweet gets on the radar of those you want to see it.
  • If you’re creating your own hashtag, firstly do some research to see if it’s been used before. Secondly, make it memorable and easy to spell. Nothing worse than having to type in a very long, or overly complicated tweet, when a hashtag should be snappy and to the point. Tagboard is a great way of visualising your user generated content through your hashtag campaign and sharing it with your followers.
  • You need to give a reason for people to use  your hashtag. An incentive like retweeting or something prize related helps, but just hoping to use a hashtag to create a conversation is not always enough.

Hashtag away

When you understand how to use hashtags it’s easier to jump into the conversation. You don’t have to follow the crowd and choose to tweet about every trending hashtags, but you do need to talk to them; get you message across, show what you’re about and how you want your brand to be perceived. By following the #hashtag code you will increase you’re overall social media engagement (which is what it’s all about), get the word out, and engage in relevant conversations.

Of course, it all comes down to content and what your KPI’s are for social. If you’re looking for more Likes then include images, video, gifs. If you’re looking to gain a following, encourage engagement and clicks, then it helps to be on the radar of the community you’re approaching. This is where a combined approach of strategy, content and hashtags can help you become visible among the daily chirping and chatter.

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