Proper Hashtag Etiquette

Proper Hashtag Etiquette

Hashtag abusers, this one is for you!  You know who you are; the one who actually says the word “hashtag” in everyday conversation, or the one who simply cannot share a photo of fireworks without loading your post with #fireworks #fourthofjuly #BOOM #hotdog – And of course, the one who #likestostringabunchofwordstogether.

Believe it or not, hashtags were created with great intentions, and it is important to know what their use is.  The concept, which began on Twitter, came with the idea to use a keyword with a hash (#) sign in front of it that links to active feeds relating to your post.  These are now usable across all of the major social media channels.  However, I'm assuming you've seen a far too many posts with about 5,000 hashtags that have nothing to do with the content at hand.  This is overwhelming, unnecessary, and quite honestly, very annoying.

With that being said, it’s time to learn what to avoid when hashtagging:

Tagging Each Word

#When #your #post #looks #like #this, your audience will quickly lose interest, moving onto a more coherent post.  Use more (or fewer, rather) related hashtags that will boost your post, not squander it with invasive techniques.

Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 11.40.01 AMUnrelated Tagging

Make sure the hashtags you are using actually relate to what your post is about!  Writing about a trending topic is an outstanding way to increase brand awareness and to gain an audience; but when you’re tagging a word that isn't about the promised topic, you will be quickly dismissed as an expert in your field.

Using Multiple Keywords in One Hashtag

It’s okay to jumble a few keywords together, but always keep it short and make sure to differentiate between words that should be separate without using a space; for example, #MerryChristmas or #HappyBirthday.  Stringing together too many words becomes entirely too difficult for your audience to read.  This could easily turn into a missed opportunity to connect with your followers.

Don't Just Categorize a Post

If you post about your newest and greatest idea on your company’s Twitter, then tag it #idea, you will not get yourself anywhere.  Tag a word that will entice a user to click on your post and learn more about you.

Using your hashtags properly, which also means that they are spelled correctly even when relevant, can help your brand connect to a much wider audience.  Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone with the content you write about, especially when it’s a trending topic.  One more tip, try injecting a little humor into your posts – This makes your job a little more fun and your followers with appreciate it too!


#Thanks #For #Reading!

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Jessica Honeycutt

Jessica holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Interpersonal and Organizational Communications and a minor in Journalism from the University of Florida. She has spearheaded various marketing, public relations, and advertising strategies, including written tasks such as press releases, blogs, and various articles.

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