Hashtags—we see them everywhere on our social media. With hashtags, we let ourselves to be part of an ongoing conversation, whether on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+ or Pinterest. The use of hashtags also allows our content to be discoverable by others while driving engagement.
Twitter initially started hashtags as a way to categorize tweets on their search index. Hashtags are powerful, considering that it is now used to mark keywords or topics, across all social media platforms. If it’s popular enough, a hashtag can become the next trending topic.
Yet, sometimes we come across some very questionable uses of the hashtag. Occasionally, we stumble upon posts with an extremely long hashtag like, #whyareyouevenreadingthis. Or, content #with #so #many #hashtags that it clogs up the message.
So, here are some simple rules to hash-tagging online:
Find an existing story
Find out if you can hop in on an ongoing conversation. It is not necessary to start a new hashtag, if you can add value to one that already exists.
A good question to ask is: what is your content meant to do? Think hard about how you want to tell your story. Find a hashtag that is relevant and suits your post.
Keep it short and sweet
Good hashtags are memorable and easy to understand. You don’t want a hashtag that’s excessively long and irrelevant, nor do you want more hashtags than words in your post.
Choosing one or two that ties strongly with your content is often enough. Using the right hashtag is something users often overlook.
Using a hashtag means that you are being part of a conversation. Understand that a post with a hashtag will come up on your social media’s search index.
Be sensitive over the kind of conversations people are having and guide the conversation with your hashtag, like a signal. Try not to add noise by using an unrelated hashtag.
Your best bet is to check out Twitter’s post on how to choose a hashtag: https://blog.twitter.com/2013/how-to-choose-a-hashtag
And, watch this video on how strange it sounds like when you’re using hashtags wrongly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57dzaMaouXA
Hashtag away! 🙂