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Twitter has become one of the most popular social hangouts to date with thousands of new users joining every week. With such a high volume of users the marketplace is becoming increasingly compact, meaning firms are fighting harder than ever to secure their popularity and share of voice.

Every tweet has a definable topic but it depends whether or not the user wishes (or neglects) to add a hashtag/s to directly link back to the conversation. Choosing an optimum hashtag can be a hard decision, for example we have reviewed the most popular general Olympics hashtags on Twitter over the last three weeks (from 4/02 – 24/02) using our in house social media monitoring tool. The leading hashtags are as follows:

1. #Sochi2014 – 5,605,000 mentions
2. #Sochi – 1,077,000 mentions
3. #Olympics – 954,000 mentions
4. #Olympics2014 – 743,000 mentions
5. #WinterOlympics – 239,000 mentions
6. #SochiOlympics – 36,000 mentions
7. #2014Olympics – 11,000 mentions

This leads to the question, how do you place your tweet amongst these hashtags?

There is no right or wrong answer here but it is worth thinking about. Take #Sochi2014 for example, this had over 503,000 mentions on the 23rd February, the last day of the event. That’s 349 mentions a minute or 41,917 mentions a minute when divided between 12 hours (the likely time frame for the Olympics being in play).

This is a very congested time to post using the hashtag – potentially resulting in your tweet ‘vanishing’ almost immediately thus losing any real-time benefits that the hashtag could have generated. This highlights the opportunity for using less popular hashtags where your audience will still be as relevant but it might just mean your tweet gets to stick around for that bit longer.