What is a Hashtag and How do I use Hashtags on Twitter to Increase Traffic or Sales Conversion?

What is a #Hashtag?

A hashtag is a word or an unspaced phrase prefixed with the hash character (or number sign), #, to form a label. It is a type of metadata tag. Words or phrases in messages on microblogging and social networking services such as Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Twitter, or VK may be tagged by entering # before them, either as they appear in a sentence, e.g., "New artists announced for #SXSW2014 Music Festival" or appended to it. The term hashtag can also refer to the hash symbol itself when used in the context of a hashtag.

A hashtag allows grouping of similarly tagged messages, and also allows an electronic search to return all messages that contain it.

Due to its widespread use, 'hashtag' was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in June 2014.

How do I use #Hashtags on Twitter to Increase Traffic or Sales Conversion?

Depending on what you are tweeting about, there are several ways to use hashtags.  The best way to explain this is to show you a tweet.  Below is a tweet I sent while I was watching a video online.  The @ sign infront of a name or title is a "mention", among other things this alerts a party that you have mentioned them in a post.  The hashtags in the tweet are the subject matter.  Since this tweet is related to Facebook, there is a hashtag on Facebook. The hashtag #SocialMediaSundays is a conversation that was trending about Social Media that Sunday.  Many conversations or groups have specific hashtags and using them can put you infront of the people who are either a part of the conversation or are looking for that particular subject.  
The quantity of hashtags used in a post or tweet is just as important as the type of hashtags used. It is currently considered acceptable to tag a post once when contributing to a specific conversation. Two hashtags are considered acceptable when adding a location to the conversation. Three hashtags are seen by some as the "absolute maximum", and any contribution exceeding this risks “raising the ire of the community.”  BUT, these rules are not set in stone.

As well as frustrating other users, the misuse of hashtags can lead to account suspensions. Twitter warns that adding hashtags to unrelated tweets, or repeated use of the same hashtag without adding to a conversation, could cause an account to be filtered from search, or even suspended.  Even still, some users riddle their tweets with hashtags and many social media users have found that excess hashtags are more beneficial than harmful.  Here is another tweet from one of my companies:

If you notice, the subject matter here is clear.  Another great tip I learned about hashtags is that translating them helps find interested parties from other nations.  For example, on many of the tweets we send out through @NickyNiceBrands we translate numismatics (ie #numismatica) or banknotes (ie #monedas) into their Spanish version or another language.  I have seen this attract followers from different speaking countries.  After all, the Internet does provide access to the world.

Hope this was helpful,

The PushYourRank Team
Author: Nicholas Coriano

About The Author: Nicholas Coriano is an Entrepreneur, Web Developer, Social Media Marketer, SEO Consultant and the founder of this blog and The NewYorkWebsiteDesignCenter.com.  While developing websites for his own businesses and marketing his entrepreneurial ventures online, he began blogging useful tips and "how-to" articles on PushYourRank.com for reference purposes.  To retain Nicholas for help with your Website, Social Media, SEO or other online/technology needs, email PushYourRank@Gmail.com

About PushYourRank.com: PushYourRank.com (the Blog) is a blog that helps small businesses, start-ups, developers, amateurs website builders, bloggers and entrepreneurs develop their websites, their social media presence, their search engine optimization techniques and more ....online.  The Blog publishes articles about Ecommerce, Email Marketing and How To Make Money Online...as well as any topic that pertains to the Internet or Online.  If you need help developing a website, SEO or Social Media outsourcing, see NewYorkWebsiteDesignCenter.com, if you would like to advertise or have us publish an article on a certain subject, please email us at PushYourRank@Gmail.com