Friday, May 30, 2014

Hacking Hash Tags (Twitter)

Did you know Twitter can be a great way to "stay in the know" when you can't attend a conference? You don't even need a Twitter account. As long as you have the conference hash tag, you can find out the latest buzz.

creative commons licensed (BY) flickr photo by marek.sotak:

TIP #1: Find the official conference hash tag. Ideally, it should be on the conference website. If you are not on a mobile device,you can shorten your search time by simultaneously pressing the CTRL and F keys (F is for Find) and typing in hashtag or hash tag.

TIP #2: After you've gone to Twitter and searched for the hash tag, make sure you are seeing *all* of the hash tagged tweets. Twitter's default view is the "top" tweets--the tweets that have been favorited, replied to, and re-tweeted the most. To see everything, click All.

TIP #3: Sometimes during a conference, someone will tweet a sentiment that really strikes home. You'll know this is the case when you search the hash tag, and at least half of your results consist of the same retweets.

Avoid this frustrating situation by adding a minus sign and the @ name of the original tweeter. a word in the tweet--the more unusual, the better.
Example: #ConferenceHashTag -randomword
This search will let you see the rest of the conversation about the conference--without that popular tweet popping up over and over again in the feed.

You, after reading the same re-tweet fifty times in a row.

TIP #4: Even though most conferences have one official hash tag, some users will tweet with an alternate hash tag, perhaps one with less characters. If you see an alternate hash tag popping up in conference tweets, then do a search for both hash tags. Do this by typing in the first hash tag, the word OR, and the second hash tag.
Example: #FirstHashTag OR #SecondHashTag. This is a Boolean search. It will look for both hash tags at the same time.

You can also check out our YouTube screencast on this topic.

If you found this post helpful, please pass it on. Happy Twitter conferencing!

is a cross-collaborative initiative where Tarleton State University students, faculty, and staff organize an annual social media conference and produce a peer-reviewed social media research journal. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook. for the latest social media news, research, and more.

Yvonne is a TSMRI co-director and librarian
who likes old movies and new media.


  1. Cool post.. learning all about Boolean now that I get a chance to work with BrandWatch!


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