04 Mar, 2010

How to follow Hashtags and #hashtag searches on Twitter

Posted by: drobs In: Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)|Social Networking|Twitter

For information on hashtags on twitter, please reading this introductory guide article to Twitter hashtags.

An interesting thing about Twitter Hashtags is that they aren’t officially supported by Twitter. Hashtags have been developed and introduced by Twitter users independently of Twitter.

Currently you can’t actually follow Twitter Hashtags as such through the main official Twitter website. You cannot sign up to receive all tweets that contain a particular Twitter #hashtag. The only way you can currently be automatically sent tweets is by choosing to follow another Twitter account. Twitter #hashtags are not Twitter accounts so cannot be followed. There is no follow button available for #hashtags (although it would be good if there was the option!) A Twitter hashtag is merely a tag or label for a chosen keyword or abbreviation and can only currently be tracked by searches through Twitter or third party sites such as www.hashtags.org.

If you want to just check once in a while or every so often, this can be achieved easily with manual #hashtage searches. You could use the www.hashtags.org site or you can use the official Twitter site by going to Twitter Search.  You can revisit the page or leave it open and keep refreshing it.

If you want or need to track a #hashtag for a longer time; be it a few hours, days or longer, there are other tools available. Searches on Google or Bing will find lots of third party independent Twitter tools for using and monitoring Twitter. These are not just for PCs or Mac, but also handheld devices such as the Blackberry or iPhone.

Some of these facilitate ‘column based tracking’, which allow you to set up columns to track Twitter tweets based on Twitter #hashtag search terms. An example of this is Tweetdeck, which runs on your computer.

With Tweetdeck you can configure up to 10 columns to follow tweets according to your specified criteria. This could be all those you follow on Twitter, or a subset or group of those you follow, or the ongoing results of a Twitter hashtags search. So if you search for #rugby via Tweetdeck, a column will appear showing you all the latest tweets using that Twitter #hashtag and it will automatically update for you. You can add, delete, or reconfigure columns at anytime.

There are also configurable web-based Twitter tracking tools that offer similar capabilities (just Google or Bing search). We will add an article in the feature regarding Twitter web-based tracking tools so make sure that you regularly visit the Gatorweb Gator Web Design UK blog.

Please follow Gator Web Design on Twitter; we automatically tweet our new posts and articles.

Written by Gator Web Design – Web design in Reading Berkshire UK

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