How You Can Use A Twitter Hashtag from an Event

Alan Belniakbusiness, Marketing, Social Media, technologyLeave a Comment

panning for hashtag gold (via can you do when you stumble across a hashtag that’s being used in support of a live event?  You can mine it for digital data gold, that’s what you can do!


Here’s a bit of what you can do with a hashtag… I explained this very concept at work.  Instead of using that event, I’ll use a different one.  Let’s use the socialmedianerderyclassic #SXSW as an example.  Depending on when you read this, it might not yield that many results, because the half-life of hashtags on Twitter is short.  So, you might need to use a more current one in these examples to see the real benefit.  But let’s assume you used Google, found this page, and had an intent to learn more – it’s presumed that you have a hashtag you want to follow.


  • I searched on who has been using the #SXSW hashtag in the past few days.  Here’s a link to a (free) Topsy analysis:
    • Change the time frame (on the left) to a week or more, then look at the graph (on the right) to see when the spike of activity occurred
    • note you can also set up to get daily email summaries of this, too… automate this (see just above the graph, on the right)
  • Generically, go to to enter your own search terms
    • It might also be worthwhile to look at what links are being shared, who the key contributors to this hashtag might be, and some other top words used, as the conference begins to take shape.  I plugged the same hashtag into The Archivist and let it go to work:
    • Setting this up in advance is key – like, as soon as you become aware of the event’s hashtag; it will start archiving content once you set it up
    • This is an example of a search being set up in advance.  Someone already set this one up in January (that’s why you see the  “isnew=false” in the URL).  Aside from that, unless you’re searching on a mega-huge event (like the socialmedianerdery that is SXSW) you’re likely going to be the first to enter this search in The Archivist.
      • I say socialmedianerdery in jest.  Hell, I’m  part of it.  Un-ashamedly, even.  I’m not as SXSW this year, though.
  • Go to to set up future hashtag searches
    • If you really want to dig in, you can use a tool like SearchHash ( and enter the hashtag soon after the event is over (note: must be within five days).
    • Run the analysis, and you can download the tweets matching that hashtag into a .csv file to manipulate in Excel.
    • You can create a word cloud, search by term follow up with Twitter-ers, etc.


So, with a little digging, you can get skilled up (or even smarter, depending on your base level of knowledge) on a topic, find relevant an interesting people to connect to, and discover a breadth of new URLs and links on a topic.


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