[UPDATED 4.17.15]

Leveraging Twitter hashtags is a great way to reach people who you aren’t directly connected to on Twitter. Where a regular post will only be distributed to your friends and followers, a post with a trending hashtag can be discovered by anyone searching for, or discussing, that hashtag.

If you’re new to the idea of hashtags, we’ve put together a guide on how to use hashtags on Twitter that has everything you need to get started.

10 Twitter Hashtag Tools

We’ve broken down our list of hashtag tools into four categories in order to help you find what you’re looking for. They’re bucketed into trending hashtag tools, popular hashtag tools, hashtag visualization tools and Twitter chat tools.

Trending Twitter Hashtag Tools

Once you have an understanding of how to properly use hashtags on social media, the question you may have is: how do I find hashtags relevant to my brand? That’s why we’ve put together a list of online tools that will help with your hashtag research.

1. Twitter Native Platform

Sometimes it makes sense to get the information right from the source. When you visit Twitter you’ll see a list of the top 10 trending hashtags on the left-hand side.

trending hashtag screenshot

Although there are only 10 trending hashtags to look through, Twitter caters these hashtags to your interest, so you’re always likely to find something that will pertain to you or your brand.

2. Sprout Social

Full disclosure, Sprout Social is the company that brought you this wonderful article, but we really do have a fantastic tool for hashtag research.

When you’re researching hashtags to use, it can be beneficial to see which hashtags are already associated with your brand. Sprout Social’s Trends Report analyzes all of your incoming messages and shows which hashtags people are mentioning with your brand.

sprout social hashtag research

Once you know which topics and hashtags are being associated with your brand, you can start to use those terms to jump into the conversations with your followers.

3. Trendsmap

Trendsmap is a website that maps trending hashtags by location, making it easy for brands to search hashtags by region. With this information, advertisers can easily create custom tweet campaigns by location, which are likely to resonate with their target audience.

location twitter hashtag search

Here is an overview of the trending hashtags near Minneapolis. As an example, say a restaurant was looking for a good hashtag to use. They could mention having a booth at the #mnstatefair, being located near the #mnstatefair, or by just creating a tweet mentioning the #mnstatefair.

Find Popular Hashtags

If none of the trending hashtags out there seem to fit your brand, you may need to search for other popular hashtags to use when creating social posts. Although these may not currently be trending, they’ve more than likely been popular in the past.

4. Hashtags.org

#hashtags.org is a site that is bent on “organizing the world’s hashtags”. Their platform uses Twitter’s streaming API to bring users the data around any hashtags they may want to find. When you search a hashtag on the site, you’re given the definition, related terms, related tweets, and statistics on the use of that hashtag. As an example, I looked up #socialmedia.

How to Find the Best Twitter Hashtags

This could be useful to advertisers who want to study the trends of different hashtags. If you see that a certain hashtag is only popular during certain months or seasons, you can plan out your social media strategy around those trends.

5. #tagdef

Tagdef is a website that will come in very handy when conducting your hashtag research. As you may have already realized, most hashtags are either acronyms or condensed terms, which can make it difficult to understand what the term actually means. That’s where #tagdef comes in.

Tagdef is essentially a combined dictionary/thesaurus for trending hashtags. As an example, I looked up the popular hashtag “throwbackthursday”.

How to Find the Best Twitter Hashtags

Tagdef brought back a definition, as well as a graph of the popularity of the post over the last few weeks. Tagdef also displays the top Twitter hashtags on their homepage, which makes finding trending hashtags a breeze.

6. Hashtagify.me

Hashtagify.me, “The Most Advanced Twitter Hashtags Search Engine”, allows you to search among 35,445,370 Twitter hashtags from their platform. The site prides itself on its ability to help users quickly conduct hashtag research and find relevant trending hashtags.

How to Find the Best Twitter Hashtags

Hashtagify.me is great for making connections between trending topics. Above are the results from searching “#SocialMediaMarketing”. You can see that the site draws correlations between the hashtag you’re researching, and others that could work for your campaign.

Hashtag Visualization Tools

It can also be helpful to visualize all of the hashtags that you’d like to use. These tools make it much easier to find and categorize hashtags for later use.

7. Keyhole.co

Keyhole originally created their platform for internal use, but decided to open it up to the public when they started receiving some positive feedback. Keyhole has features that are available for free, but more advanced features are accessible only for paid membership.

How to Find the Best Twitter Hashtags

The above is an example of a fantastic word cloud that Keyhole generated for me when I searched for the hashtag #socialmedia. Each of those hashtags associated with #socialmedia are also clickable, which makes its easy to search Twitter hashtags around a specific theme.

8. Tagboard

Tagboard is one of the most aesthetically pleasing of all of the hashtag research sites. For each “Tagboard” you create, you specify a specific hashtag for it to track. Tagboard then displays popular posts containing that hashtag on a board that looks similar to the one below.

How to Find the Best Twitter Hashtags

You can then easily peruse all of the posts that contain the hashtag that they’re interested in. They’ve also incorporated the ability to “Feature Post”, which pulls that post to a separate board, which makes responding easy.

Twitter Chat Tools

One of the most popular ways that brands use hashtags is with “Twitter Chats”. Brands will create a hashtag and bolster conversations around that hashtag. Here are some tools that will help you keep track of all your Twitter chats.

9. Nurph

Nurph is a tool created to help streamline Twitter Chats, which are conversations that focus around the same trending hashtag. Sprout Social uses Nurph to monitor the Twitter chats that we run using the hashtag #SproutChat.

How to Find the Best Twitter Hashtags

This is a sample image of what the interface would look like during a #SproutChat. Nurph’s chatroom style display makes it easy to follow conversations and engage with users in your chat.

10. Twubs

Twubs is a Twitter chat platform similar to Nurph. Users have the ability to form groups around trending hashtags to share thoughts and ideas. Since all of the content is user generated, it’s also a good site for finding popular hashtags.

How to Find the Best Twitter Hashtags
Here is an example of what a Twitter chat around the term #socialmedia looks like.

In Closing

Hashtags are an extremely popular aspect of Twitter and other social media sites. That’s why it’s important to make sure that you’re using the best tools to research, create, and monitor all of the hashtags associated with your brand!