As things are heating up for the 2012 Kentucky Derby, Twitter users want to share their memories, ideas, and predictions about the winning horse. Although there are regular horse racing fans that are fully aware of which hashtags get the most notice, many newbies do not know how to tweet in a way that their voice can be heard.
Through research methods such as following up on hashtags manually and using monitoring services like Hashtags.org and WhatTheTrend.com, it is apparent that some trends are taking off while others oddly flounder. While some hashtags seem intuitive, a majority might surprise you.
The least weird Kentucky Derby hashtags
In 2011, there were many media sources that reported on the top hashtags of the year. Sadly, #HorseRacing and the #KYDerby were not included in the lists. Without a way to use a reference, the painstaking work of reviewing Twitter hashtags one by one was needed. Thankfully, Twitter users will often mention more than one hashtag and this makes finding the best Kentucky Derby hashtags easier.
The top hashtags that Twitter users are placing with their 2012 Kentucky Derby references are #HorseRacing, #KyDerby, #KyOaks, #RunForTheRoses, #KyDerby138, and #GoBabyGo. Top mentions include official Kentucky Derby related accounts like @KentuckyDerby, @ChurchillDowns, and @DerbyMedia (Churchill Downs PR).
Kentucky Derby hashtags that strangely flopped
During the Kentucky Derby hashtags search, it was obvious that some looked like they would be winners - but flopped instead. For instance, #KDPredictions was attempted by one Twitter user and it is currently stuck all alone in search results. Other oddball Kentucky Derby hashtags that are not taking off are #2012Derby, #DerbyPredictions, and #DerbyWinner.
Hashtags for the Kentucky Derby you are not expecting
For many fans, they only watch the Kentucky Derby and do not know very much about horse racing. For this reason, Derby fans might be surprised to see #ABRLive attached to many tweets. In this case, Twitter users are using an old reference for the newly formed FollowHorseRacing.com website.
When #FollowHorseRacing set up online a few months ago, they incorporated the former ABRLive (AKA America's Best Racing). Other hashtags associated with the broadcasting angle of the Kentucky Derby are #TVG and #HRTV.
Strange tags that get the Derby's attention
If you are trying to get the attention of Twitter users at the Kentucky Derby or in the city of Louisville, there are a few ways to get the word out. An obvious one to use appears to be #Kentucky. To be more specific, they do not use #LouisvilleGirl , #ILoveKentucky, or #I<3KY. Instead, the key hashtags are odd combos such as #KYProud, #DerbyCity, #Louisville, #502, and #LouMedia.
This is bizarre and not Kentucky Derby related
If you have been sending off all your tweets with #DerbyCon -- you are completely off base. While it sounds a lot like the Kentucky Derby, DerbyCon 2.0 is a hacker conference taking place from September 27 - 30 in Louisville. In cases like this, it pays to search your hashtags before you tweet.
What is the #TC12 reference?
One of the most confusing hashtags associated with the 2012 Kentucky Derby is the #TC12 reference. If you try to use a search engine or Twitter to pinpoint the exact meaning, you will spend a great deal of time in frustration. In fact, this one should be more obvious than it is. The #TC12 mind-boggler actually stands for Triple Crown 2012.
Although it occurs rarely, you can bet that if the same horse that wins the 2012 Kentucky Derby also wins the Preakness on May 19, #TC12 will be one of the hottest hashtags of the summer.
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Maryam Louise is a longtime resident of the Bluegrass State and has lived in the shadows of Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky over the past two decades. In addition to being a fan of horse racing, she has also had a chance to get to know jockeys, horse groomers, and betting clerks as an ESL instructor. Currently, she writes for KentuckyDerby.org and relies on her friends in the multiple facets of the equine industry for writing inspiration.