How To Use Twitter Hashtags to Increase Your Traffic

imageSuzie Speaks began in 2013, and was originally used as online therapy, primarily allowing me to discuss a difficult time I was having in my personal life. I knew nothing about social media – I had a personal Facebook account and a Twitter page that I hadn’t used in quite a while, and I rather naively assumed that I would receive a large amount of views simply by pressing the publish button.

It took me about six months to realise that the biggest source of traffic to a blog, without getting heavily into SEO (which I still find difficult to understand), is through different social media accounts. I created a brand new Facebook and Twitter page, separate to my personal ones, and set about building a following.

In two years, I have had nearly 44,000 views from Twitter, but only have 6,500 ‘followers.’ It’s hardly setting the blogging world on fire, but it’s certainly a large number considering the small amount of time (about 5-10 minutes) I spend on there each day.

Why?

It’s all about the hashtags.

What is a hashtag?

A hashtag, put simply, is a label or category that allows others to find something within a specific theme or content and are primarily used on Twitter and Instagram. Once you have copied a URL or used the share button on a post, hashtags can be used to direct your post towards the people you want to read them. On Twitter you can use a hashtag for everything – #cats, #dogs, #football, #sandwiches – but as a blogger the main focus is to use categories that will gain interest in your content and grow your readership and traffic.

Which hashtags should I use?

My blog has no niche – I write about whatever I feel like at a particular time – and I have always found it difficult to put myself into a specific category. However, there are endless categories within the blogging world, and all have different hashtags. The most popular ones are:

#lbloggers: Lifestyle Bloggers
#bbloggers: Beauty Bloggers
#fbloggers: Fashion Bloggers
#pbloggers: Parent Bloggers
#fblbloggers: Fashion Beauty Life Bloggers

There are also hashtags for categories that are more self explanatory:

#travelbloggers
#foodbloggers
#mummybloggers
#parentbloggers

For example, if I have done a post about a place that I have visited recently, I would use the hashtags #lbloggers, #travelbloggers and perhaps #fblbloggers in my link.

However, there are weekly hashtags that can be used to promote yourself further. For each of these, the concept is the same – you tweet your post, regardless of the content, using a certain hashtag on a particular day, and then take the opportunity to see other posts that have been shared within the same hashtag, read them and then retweet. This has been my biggest way of increasing my readership and meeting other bloggers from all over the world. And by retweeting somebody else, it’s likely that they will return the favour and introduce your blog to potentially thousands of new readers in their following.

Note: experienced bloggers will know if you have retweeted something without reading it first, and are unlikely to reciprocate if you develop a reputation for doing this.

  • Monday: #MondayBlogs. This is the godfather of all weekly sharing hashtags, with thousands of bloggers participating each week.
  • Tuesday: #TuesdayShares
  • Wednesday: #wwwblogs (Women’s Writer Wednesday) and #BeWoW
  • Thursday: #ThrowbackThursday
  • Friday: #BlueSkyFriday, #FridayShares and #LinkYourLife
  • Saturday: #ArchiveDay (for older posts), #WeekendBlogHop and #WeekendCoffeeShare (for any ‘If We Were Having Coffee’ posts).
  • Sunday: #SundayBlogShare (I created this)

For example, if I wanted to share my latest travel post on a Sunday, I would add #SundayBlogShare to my hashtags.

There are also Twitter chats for bloggers that will go on for about an hour during the week using hashtags, and there are LOADS of these. However, these are not places to share links – they are purely for talking to other like-minded people, establishing connections and building a readership. For more information on this, here is a brilliant link from The Sits Girls about Twitter chats:

http://www.thesitsgirls.com/social-media/twitter-chat-made-easy-how-to-twitter/

Use trending hashtags

Trending hashtags are the most popular things on Twitter at a particular moment in time, and at several points in the last few years I have written a post about a topic while it was trending, with immediate effect on my traffic once it was posted.

Earlier in the year, the Independent published a scathing article about beauty blogger Zoella. I wrote a post about it and used the hashtag #Zoella that was trending at the time. It was viewed several thousand times on Twitter in a matter of hours.

During the summer, I saw that the hashtag #BloggerBlackmail was trending in the UK. After finding out what it was, I did a post on my opinion of the situation and tweeted it using the same hashtag. It was viewed 500 times in an hour.

Similarly, a story about a stripper named Zola went viral last week. I wrote a post about it, used the hashtag #Zola and tweeted it three or four times. It was seen nearly a thousand times that day, and a further 500 the next.

If something is trending, take the opportunity to base a post around a hashtag and tweet it out.

Note: remember that content is key – if you post out any old nonsense then you may get lots of views initially, but potential readers are guaranteed not to return again, damaging your traffic in the long term.

How often should I use hashtags?

Like every area of social media, it’s important to pace yourself and spread your tweets out so as not to spam your readers. When I have time, I tweet between 3-5 times a day at times when I know I have peak traffic. It takes just a few minutes. If I am using a weekly hashtag, I will make sure that I read and retweet at least one other post, and during #SundayBlogShare, which I host, I can read and retweet several hundred others throughout the day.

So, to put it simply:

  • Use hashtags that are relevant to the content of your post and the audience you wish to target.
  • Use weekly hashtags and take some time to read and retweet other posts in the same hashtag too.
  • Use Twitter chats to establish connections and build a readership.
  • Use trending hashtags where relevant.
  • Tweet your posts 3-5 times a day, leaving some time in between so as not to spam.

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks, my Pinterest page http://www.pinterest.com/suzie81speaks and my Instagram page http://www.instagram.com/suzie81speaks.

 

80 thoughts on “How To Use Twitter Hashtags to Increase Your Traffic

  1. This is something worth noting. We keep to the science hostages but should include more. We have never used more than two hastags on twitter. Thank you full the information because we had no idea there were so many options.

      • I re-read the weekly hostages paragraph but it’ll can’t quite get it. I’m sorry, can you explain or give me a link that explains that further. Thank you so much for this.
        What about Instagram. That is where I’m still grasping at straws.

      • I’m afraid I’m an Instagram newbie so I can’t help there I’m afraid, but with the weekly hashtags is quite easy. If you want to post something and it’s Sunday, you would tweet your link and add the hashtag #SundayBlogShare. There are lots of others using that hashtag so they will see it too and hopefully read your post

  2. Thanks for the advice. My blog is more personal and therefore more random but I am still interested in building an audience who might be interested. One of the reasons I migrated to WordPress is because of it being a more mature platform where originality is king.

    • Thanks Tony! I agree – the WordPress community is generally more mature with a focus on content, and using social media is a quick way of boosting those posts to people who may use other platforms.

  3. Pingback: How To Use Twitter Hashtags to Increase Your Traffic | perfectlyfadeddelusions

  4. Oh Suzie thank you so much for all this info! I have am on a steady Twitter learning curve, it’s been almost two months since I joined and recently I have been able to see the positive effects.

  5. Pingback: Use Hashtags, They Work In Getting You Noticed | The Tony Burgess Homepage

  6. Thanks Suzie! I recently created a Twitter account specifically for my blog, but I’ve been battling to get the hang of the whole hashtag thing when I publish a post. It automatically publishes to my twitter account but I don’t put hashtags on because I’m just not clued up enough on how to, or what to use.
    This whole ‘trending’ hashtag thing has my mind blown! I don’t even know where to start looking for that kind of information.
    This post has been helpful – I’m going to bookmark it so that I can keep coming back and reminding myself of some of the hashtags I should be using πŸ™‚

  7. Great post – really helpful. I’m always wary of using #lbloggers #bbloggers #bbloggers and the like, because technically I’m none of those things (my blog is a bit of everything) but your post has changed my mind on adding them to my tweets. Thanks!

  8. But how do you get the hashtags going when you post from the WordPress app on an iPhone?! I just can’t get it done 😁 I know how to do it on my computer or through safari, but I usually post through the app πŸ™ƒ

    • I don’t retweet posts and add hashtags, but I do add them to my own links. It depends on how often you do it – once every so often is better otherwise people will think you’re spamming

  9. I would have never thought about using hashtags to increase trafficking. Of course I like to blog just for the fun of it but having more people come see my work it always nice. Thanks!!

  10. This has been really helpful, I never understand why you would retweet something without reading the content first, can lead to all kinds of problems if it turns out to be a dodgy post!

  11. I’m still learning and probably will never stop learning about social media and how it works. Thank you for helping me learn more. I’d like to read all the post I help RT, but often find time only allows me to read a few out of the many.

  12. Thanks I found this very useful. I use hashtags and I’m not too bad on going with ones that are relevant and trending. Where I need to make changes based on what you have said, is using the generic blogging hashtags. I have seen them on other people’s posts and wondered what the point was. You’ve made it clearer now, so I’ll give it a go!

  13. Pingback: 10 Social Media Hacks That All New Bloggers Need To Know About. – The Gay Stepdad

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s