What is a Twitter hashtag and how can an artist use this to their advantage when using Twitter as means to market and promote their art? Try to think of a Twitter hashtag as a way to categorize and collect Tweets about a particular subject. A Twitter hashtag is the symbol # plus the subject, for example; #Art is a well-used hashtag on Twitter. If you were to create and Tweet a message about a new art show or a new blog article about art, at the end of the Twitter message include the hashtag #Art and automatically this Tweet will be listed with all of the other Tweets that have used this hashtag (and there are quite a few in this category) as well.
By using this hashtag and reaching your regular Twitter followers with your message, you have now included and reached another group of people who follow the hashtag #Art. The hashtag #Art is followed by a very large group of people who are also interested in or who are associated with the art industry.
Popular art related hashtags are #artgallery, #artnews, #artinfo, #painting, #photo, #photography, #abstract, #acrylic, #watercolor, etc. Try making up your own hashtags in order to research that hashtag with the Twitter search function and see what you come up with in this category or in this subject. You will find leads, new prospects, other interested people, art galleries and art related people who are following this hashtag as well. I think that you will find that the most effective and popular hashtags are with the shortest and most concise names.
If you are involved with or you are having an art event, create a hashtag for this event ie: #billsartevent and include and promote this hashtag with all of the Tweets, posts and ads about this event. In addition, encourage all of your followers and everyone associated with this event to also use this hashtag. By doing this, it will then create a stream of information, comments and conversations specifically about your art event. The same would hold true if you were creating a discussion with your followers about an art subject as well. Using a hashtag is a great way to separate your topic away from the clutter and to focus on that category or subject in a Twitter stream.
I want to provide a word of caution about using hashtags in any of your Tweets. When using a hashtag name or hashtag subject, it is also included in your 140 character message limit, thus requiring more difficulty in formulating and in writing your Tweet. If you want to include several hashtag categories, but you do not have the character space, send out the same message, 2 or 3 times, with your different hashtags.
By using a hashtag with your Twitter messages an artist is also exposing their message and themselves to a new group of Twitter users who have the potential to not only read their message but also to become new followers and readers of future Tweets. If you are unfamiliar with or are uncomfortable using Twitter hashtags, look for other users who are using hashtags, click on that particular hashtag (it is a link to that subject or category) and follow where the hashtag takes you. I think that you will be surprised at what you find and also you will be happy that you are now following and using hashtags with your Twitter messages.