Twitter Basic’s – What is a hashtag

So this article is for my brother. It might be of use to some of you novices out there too, but I have produced this to save me hours of phone calls and argues and stress. Not since trying to teach my mother how to set up 1. The internet and 2. Email have I attempted to share a bit of love and knowledge to my family.

In true geek style I am now going to produce a basic how-to-guide for my brother as he is taking his first footsteps into the world of twitter. Awwww bless him!

Everything and I mean everything is now “social”. Never before has there been a technological evolution such as social media. With such a phenomenal growth over the last few years, most companies are looking for the answers how to capitalise using social media for business.  Likewise this is the same situation as my brother finds himself him. However he is falling into the trap if using social media as a customer acquisition channel instead of a communication, branding or retention tool.

There are so many tactics for using twitter for both lead generation and marketing communication but let’s face it, it’s not going to change his world straight away.

So where did it all begin for my brother. His opening tweet was: “DJing in the Bristol/South West area. DJ Bristol is regarded by many, as the best and most reliable place to hire a mobile disco in Bristol.”

Oh dear!

Let me just point out my brother is a sales man and not a marketer so I might need to help him out a bit here.

So let’s start with the basis.

What is a Hastag or # and how to use it in twitter?

Hash tagging is probably the most important thing to do in every single one of your tweets. A hash tag is a conversation and a search term.  For example #dj will show you everyone that has said anything about the topic #dj.

Another suggestion would be to insert a town name into your tweets will also allow people that search this term to find you. If I was a marketing to a local audience, I would have my town name in most, if not all of my tweets.

I’m not one to kill off the English dictionary but sometimes you need to shorten words down. Remember you only have 140 characters in each of your tweets, this includes links to pictures and website.

So to recap, this is how twitter words it.

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.

What and where to use the @ sign in Twitter?

Using an @ symbol is a way to have a conversation with a brand or person. Most large brands have twitter accounts now and are monitoring what you say.

An example of how my djing brother could use this would be to say something like:

“I’m djing @oceanabristol tonight. “ You might even get lucky and get a retweet from the venue to their followers.

Tweeting and automating.

Another quick mention on tools to use for twitter. For businesses I recommend using Hootsuite, which is a free downloadable bit of software that can allow you to update a number of different pages within one screen. For example you can update both facebook and twitter using Hootsuite, plus do this for 1, 2, 3 or more pages if you run multiple businesses.

Hootsuite also allows you to save search results for particular key words.  For example I have searches such as “aylesbury” and “” so if anyone talks about us, I know what they are saying.

The best feature of Hootsuite is being able to schedule your tweets. This means you could set up all your tweets on a Monday morning and the system would tweet on your behalf while you are working.  In my brothers case, you could set up a tweet to send at 8pm on Friday while you are busy setting up and saves you worrying about it.

Last idea bro…. check out this for your lights!  Get requests by twitter….. you’ll be soooooooooo 2012!


So brother, please don’t call me…. If you need assistance please visit

Likewise for any other people that are interested in a DJ in Bristol, see his website. (brother I gave you a free clean link there to help with your SEO value but that is a whole other conversation …..or blogpost)