Integrated Marketing Success Factors 2020 - download yours for FREE right now...

How to find the best Hashtags to use in Twitter

3 tools to find out the most popular and relevant topics

Before we look at tools for finding the best hashtags for twitter growth, I thought it best to explain what a hashtag is (I still often get asked this when talking to clients):

A hashtag is simply a way for people to label and search for social media updates. It may be a trending topic such as #cybermonday or a campaign-specific label such as a discount or campaign name.  In most social networks if you click on the hashtag you see updates where others have used it.

Hashtags originated on Twitter, but their popularity means that they're now ubiquitous across social networks as this History of Hashtags shows. Hashtags can help get your message across and engage your audience in a concept. For example, we recommended Smart Insights used #PlanToSucceed as a hashtag to highlight the importance of planning and to flag up specific resources for this on a landing page.

So how do you see which Hashtags are relevant to your audience which you should be using. Well here are three, free tools to help. Do share your recommendations!


The service was launched in 2007 and has evolved into a paid service. It's main value now in the free service is seeing what is trending over the past 24 hours. If you want to store and monitor hashtags over time you will need to use the paid service.

2. What the Trend

WhatTheTrend is a huge resource for Twitter related stats and information. It's main benefit is that it allows you to see global trends as well as country & even city data. It's a great place for bloggers to look for inspiration for currently trending topics to cover. It gives daily and monthly options, so is more valuable than Hashtags these days.

It's now owned by Hootsuite, which reminds us that if you use this (if you don't use it for social media monitoring and updates you're missing out!) you can track individual hashtags as streams in Hootsuite. Here you can see engagement with a Christmas campaign from ASOS:



Very different to the other tools I have mention but, Trendsmap a great tool which visualises the use of hashtags locally & displays on them on a world map. You can view currently trending hashtags by continent, country or city. Great for local business wanting to keep up with local trends. Not a very inspirational site but practical if local trends are important to your business!

Tips for utilizing hashtags

  • Keep it relevant to the subject
  • Don't use them all the time
  • Don't just piggy back on other trends, start your own, particularly for campaigns
  • Utilise popular keywords (Google Keyword Planner) to base your hastags on
  • Make your content entertaining or educational to encourage sharing
  • Use tools like TweetDeck & hashtags to find other twitter users that are following similar subjects / trends

Share your thoughts

  • Rakesh commented on March 15, 2015

    Thanks a lot for the great info, I really like it and shared it with my friends.

  • Chad Priest commented on February 3, 2015

    I would like to add
    into the mix for robust commercial use. Some of our unique product offerings include content
    rights request to acquire legal rights to reuse user generated content
    legally within any form of advertising including rich media, print and
    TV. We also have an API feed for developers and can also create social
    dynamic videos which include social media posts embedded within the
    video like a layer within Photoshop. Ask us for a demo.

  • Shehan Wijetillake commented on January 22, 2015

    Are you able to find a specific # that has been # in a particular country? For instance, i want to find everyone who has #fitness in New Zealand? Is this possible

  • Thanks for the information … I have just started using twitter to run a campaign and the information you provided here is a blessing. You gave the best, I checked them out immediately and have already seen an increase in my favorites and retweets!

  • Thank you for a great post with awesome tools! 🙂

  • sopularity commented on July 9, 2014 is a simple app which recommend the best hashtags for a given tweet

  • Han Zhen Liu commented on March 5, 2014

    There is also It is more friendly for us everyday people to use 🙂

  • Thanks Dave. Very useful. By the way, the image link doesn’t work.

  • brett commented on July 30, 2013

    You should add instead of just showing you the trending hashtags on all of twitter it will actually shorten your tweets and recommend relevant hashtags to what you’re trying to post about.

  • Jacopo Laganga commented on June 13, 2013

    i would seriously recommend >

    • Thanks for the recommend Jaopo!

      Useful to show related hashtags.

      • Peter commented on May 26, 2014

        I think a combination of Hoostsuite and Tweet Deck is as good as it gets really.

        Find the best hash tags using those apps, post a relevant tweet, add some re-tweets to it and you have a guaranteed recipe for massive visibility.

        Thanks, Peter

        Marketing Heaven

  • I also noticed this Enterprise tool: but looks costly as
    As low as $9.98
    per hashtag per month

  • Try tweeting: “Go @findhashtags your keywords”. It’s a tool I setup to identify the top hashtags being used for any particular search term.

  • THANK YOU for these resources. i was just about to tweet something when i thought

    ‘how about using some hash tags?’

    and then i thought

    ‘hang on – where is the hash tags list?’

    because like most things twitter related, there isnt an easy guide on their site explaining even the most basic of basics. found you 4th position on google with the search phrase “how do you use hash tags in twitter?”

    youve been bookmarked for future reference as you clearly know your twitterology

  • I don’t know if it is just because I like pretty graphics (see the proof on my Loyalty Marketing Consultant website), but the third one, Trendsmap, is my favourite.

Get FREE marketing planning templates

Start your Digital Marketing Plan today with our free Basic membership.

  • FREE fast start guides to review your approach
  • FREE digital marketing plan templates
  • FREE alerts on the latest developments

Need help with your Social media marketing?

Get more from your digital marketing with in-company or remote training and consultancy from Smart Insights

Get FREE marketing planning templates

Start your Digital Marketing Plan today with our free Basic membership.

  • FREE fast start guides to review your approach
  • FREE digital marketing plan templates
  • FREE alerts on the latest developments