Wondering if you should be using hashtags in more of your tweets? Are you missing out on exposure or traffic if you don’t?
This great piece of research and analysis investigating whether tweets with hashtags get more or less attention by Tristan Handy (@jthandy) at Argyle Social explains why in most cases, using hashtags isn’t harmful but also isn’t entirely helpful. Our clients ask us about this regularly, so thanks to Tristan for publishing some really useful, practical findings!
Our experience mirrors what this article suggests, in that your followers are your primary Twitter audience. Any secondary traffic is likely coming in through keyword searches run through Twitter Search (either directly or via a Twitter app). So ensuring you have relevant keywords in your natural language as you write tweets will help you get found as much as hashtags will, and doesn’t come with the added baggage of looking like you’re fishing for traffic.
Ultimately, test for yourself. Use a URL shortener like Hootsuite or bit.ly and measure how many clicks you get on tweets with hashtags vs. without over a period of time. If you try this, come on back and let us know your results in the comments below.