How to Use Hashtags
If you’re on one of the more popular social media sites, you’ve seen them lurking in the body or bottom corner of a post. Sometimes they take up the whole next line, sometimes they’re only one small word. They’re meant to grab your attention one way or another – unfortunately sometimes it’s for all the wrong reasons. So, my friends, here are some tips to keep your hashtags legit.
What Are Hashtags For?
Hashtags are used to categorize, and in some cases, clarify the content of your post on social media networks. This allows marketers, businesses and users alike to be found for particular keywords or topics. Also, please know that hashtag use differs depending on what platform you’re posting to. Do yourself a favor and learn the best practices for each one.
Do’s & Don’ts
Hashtags are simple to create but that doesn’t mean you can simply cram a bunch of words together and expect people to find you. A little bit of research and finesse can take your “#” a long way. Here are some tips:
1. Do focus on a message
If you’re using a hashtag, think about the people you are trying to reach and what keywords they will be searching for. Know your audience and connect with them using their language. Keep it simple, timely and relevant.
Holidays can last 4 months right? #ShareaCoke pic.twitter.com/6EQMFgaRWN
— Coca-Cola (@CocaCola) August 29, 2019
2. Do know what’s trending
If you’re attempting to attract traffic to your profile, including a trending hashtag related to your content may be a good idea. Our advice? Approach this with caution because you don’t want to step into a conversation that could do more harm than help.
Just in case anyone was wondering where the aliens will go once they’re free #Area51storm pic.twitter.com/jbuhT2z2sz
— Whataburger® (@Whataburger) September 20, 2019
3. Do be creative
If you’d like to build some momentum for a contest or topic you can create an original hashtag. Pick something catchy and clever then see if it already exists.
Get the taste of homegrown fried green tomatoes fried with tangy rémoulade! Try all 3 #DoUsAFlavor flavors & vote at https://t.co/X0KaZogSYl pic.twitter.com/gwomQXoyFj
— LAY’S (@LAYS) August 10, 2017
4. Do proofread for any alternative translations
Dirty birdies and smarty pants are a-plenty on the interwebz. One mess up and your tweet can be legendary – but NOT in a good way.
My main memory of #susanalbumparty was two years later when there was a passing reference to “Susan Boyle’s infamous Twitter hashtag gaffe” and I had to spend ten minutes explaining to my dad what it was about, starting with what twitter is and what hashtags are.
— DismalCorpse (@DismalChips) November 20, 2018
5. Don’t use something offensive
Knowingly posting content that is obviously offensive isn’t going to earn you new business or fans. Claiming ignorance will only make matters worse. The only thing you will accomplish is a backlash and alienation of prospective customers and degradation of your brand. Just don’t… SMDH.
My god @Dior/@LVMH…haven’t you learned anything? pic.twitter.com/7TeUskgAiF
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) August 30, 2019
6. Don’t over-hash or string us along
#Please #dont #do #this OR…. #dontdothiseitherbecauseitmakesyoulookcrazytoeveryonethatfollowsyou
Simply tagging each word means you expect someone to search for the words “please” “don’t,” “do” and “this.” No one is going to look for those words individually nor will they search for an entire sentence. Tagging each word or putting a sentence behind a hashtag shows that you really don’t understand how it all works:
Need more advice, tips, ideas? We can help take your social media strategy to the next level. Give us a call at (915) 351-8440 or fill out our contact form.
Shout out to Ying Sagehorn (see below) for this oldie but goodie. Happy Hashtaggin’!
Original Post August 8, 2013
Naomi Dhillon is a Marketing Technologist at Stanton Street, a web design and development company in El Paso, TX.
Naomi attended New Mexico State University graduating with a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in English. She also has an A.S. in graphic design.
About Stanton Street
We help organizations amplify their online presence by building engaging websites, creating successful digital marketing campaigns, and tackling the <$%^#/>, so they can build their brand, grow their business, and reach their full potential.
One thought on “How to Use Hashtags”
Great post! You must watch the video with Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon making fun of hashtags. It is to die for! Thanks for sharing 🙂