The Dos & Don’ts of Hashtags

- February 12, 2014

Hashtags weave individual comments together to form a bigger-picture perspective on a given topic. They reveal to us what people are talking about and – in turn – what matters most to them. As a business owner, this information is vital, allowing you to not only be a fly on the wall, but to actively contribute to the greater conversation. But, as with anything, there’s a downside to the use of hashtags. And in this case, it’s the #overuse – #and #misuse — #of #the #trend. Here are some dos and don’ts as to how you can strategically use hashtags to tune into your audience, and tune out the irrelevant hashtag “noise.”

Do:

  • Put the hashtag symbol (#) immediately before the relevant keyword or phrase.
  • Use hashtags that are relevant to the content of your post.
  • Use tools, like hashtags.org, to research trending hashtags.
  • Tie hashtags into a post series. For example, wanderlust Twitter users began using #TTOT for Travel Talk on Tuesday. Hosts would tweet questions on Tuesdays and, to answer them, all participants would have to do is add #TTOT to their own tweets.
  • Use capitalization, when necessary, to differentiate words in a series. Example: #SeeTheDifference
  • Research hashtags already being used for specific events and incorporate them into your own posts about that event, such as #Sochi2014.

Don’t:

  • Use more than two hashtags per post. This is a biggie.
  • Put spaces in between words in a hashtag. So your hashtag would be #whoneedsspaces, not #who needs spaces.
  • Use punctuation. This ends the hashtag. So it would be #valentinesday not #valentine’sday.
  • Be afraid to use hashtags mid-sentence, when it makes sense to do so. For example, your post could read: “MoreVisibility is hosting a #GoogleAnalytics webinar on Feb. 19 at 1 p.m. #shamelessplug”
  • Use more than three words in a hashtag. Anything after that is difficult to read.

Do you have any hashtag tips to add to our list? Post them on Twitter and @mention us: @MoreVisibility.

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