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Some #Hashtag Rules You’ll Want to Follow

We did a Twitter post yesterday and I wanted to follow up today with some tips specifically regarding hashtags.


What is a Hashtag?

If you’re at all new to Twitter, then this is a legitimate question. A hashtag is a word or collection of words with a “#” in front, creating an automatic link and grouping tweets with the same hashtag together. If you click on the hashtag link, you will see the latest tweets about the same subject. In other words, it helps to filter out the millions of tweets on Twitter to subjects that you want to be involved in.


Why Should I Hashtag?

You want to hashtag if you have something unique to say about a particular subject and you want to move the conversation along.


How Often Should I Hashtag?

Hashtag whenever appropriate, especially if there’s already a conversation going.

Don’t hashtag too many times in a tweet. Keep it to three or less per tweet, preferably just one.

Never hashtag every word in a tweet. This not only defeats the purpose, but makes your tweet unreadable.


Can I get in on Current Hashtags?

Yes. If you see a conversation on a topic that you want in on, go for it. However, hijacking is typically frowned upon by the Twitter world.


What’s a Hashtag Hijack?

A hijack occurs when a user hashtags a popular topic, but the tweet has nothing to do with the topic. Users do this to get attention even though they have little or nothing to contribute. So, they get labeled as spam and can even get penalized for the practice. In other words, don’t hashtag a topic and tweet about your flash sale.


Do I have the Authority to invent New Hashtags?

This depends. If you have a decent following and people typically engage with your originating posts, then creating hashtags can help people to categorize topics around your brand, persona, or a specific product or service.

However, if you lack the right following and haven’t figured out the whole engagement thing yet, inventing hashtags can look a bit forced. Better to stick with established tags until you get into a groove with engagement, then you can create hashtags that will actually work for your purposes, as opposed to fizzling out.


All of this is to say… Social media marketing is tricky. It takes practice. So, don’t give up and feel things out until you get in the hang of it.


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