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.
— 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.
— 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.
— 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.
— 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 an Account Executive at Stanton Street, a website development company in El Paso, TX.