Use Hashtags Wisely

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Some people are still quite confused as to what hashtags are. Hashtags are that word you see after the number sign people place after their Facebook statuses, Google Plus and Instagram posts and Twitter tweets. The purpose of the hashtag is that if someone clicks on it, other conversations that contain the hashtag will come up. For instance, if someone put up a Facebook status that was similar to what you had put up, and placed the same hashtag that you had- someone could click on that individual’s hashtag and your status update could come up along with some others who share the same hashtag. You get more exposure with hashtags.

In regards to Twitter, it is important to hashtag your tweets with the relevant keyword because if someone does a search on Twitter for the keyword you had used, your tweet will come up- and that means more exposure for you! So hashtags are quite useful. However, unfortunately a lot of people do not use hashtags wisely and I will talk about five common mistakes many people make with hashtags.

1. Using Too Many Hashtags– All people want is their tweets or posts being seen. Of course, or else why would we be using social media? However many people get carried away by using 5 or 10 hashtags with their posts/tweets which can not only appear spammy however it can be confusing. It is going to end up turning people off and your tweets and posts will be ignored. It is best to use 2-3 hashtags, I would say more like 2. That is more than enough.

2. Using Sentences– It is okay to use short phrases (3 words maximum) as hashtags, however some people go all out and create really long hashtags that should be really be left as a sentence. For instance if you are tweeting or posting an Einstein quote, it is okay to hashtag #Einsteinquote however do not so something like #anotheramazingeinsteinquote. No one will find it nor will anyone care.

3. Not Relevant– It is bad enough when people use very long hashtags or too many of them, however once they start adding hashtags that are not relevant to the tweet or post, that is a big turn off. Not only how will that helpful. If you are tweeting about a sunny destination, don’t use #ice as a hashtag in the tweet. How is that going to help?

4. Highjacking– This is something that happens with tweet chats often. Many people highjack hashtags used within the tweet chat and start tweeting tweets that are not relevant to the chat. This behavior can get your account suspended. The best advice is to not do it. If you want to host a chat with your own branded hashtag, you can to do through Twubs, that is a lot safer than to highjacking.

5. Creativity is Great to a Point– Do not make up your own hashtags unless you see existing hashtags you have in mind and the posts with it are not irrelevant to what you want to put out. If you start making up hashtags that will not serve you other than the fact it may look like a way to express your creativity, that is going to hurt you in the long run. Express your creativity through your tweets and posts, however not through your use of hashtags.

Make sure you use 2-3 maximum relevant hashtags with your posts on a consistent basis and you will improve your online visibility, as well as engagement and networking.

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Written by Miriam

Miriam

Miriam Slozberg is an author, social media consultant and depression advocate. Connect with her on Google+, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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20 Responses to Use Hashtags Wisely

  1. Peggy August 7, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

    Awesome #hashtag advice!! Thank you fo

    • Miriam August 7, 2013 at 4:50 pm #

      Thanks for commenting Peggy 🙂 glad you like it

  2. Michelle Liew August 7, 2013 at 5:01 pm #

    Great advice……I think many are still not too familiar with internet etiquette!

    • Miriam August 7, 2013 at 5:05 pm #

      True and thanks for commenting.

  3. Linda Hampton August 7, 2013 at 5:02 pm #

    Although I have used hashtags I’am not sure if there use helps you in the long run. yes I can put in the hashtag to find others who have tweeted and used the same tag but I believe it’s most useful to the initiator of the hashtag especially as marketing tool. I have never researched to find relevant tweets with the same hashtag.

    • Miriam August 7, 2013 at 5:04 pm #

      It does stay for good and yes it is helpful in the long run, however being consistent about it is the key.

  4. Ray August 7, 2013 at 6:29 pm #

    I know some folks that I am going to direct over to this page. Only a couple, but they hashtag almost every word.

    • Miriam August 7, 2013 at 6:48 pm #

      Thanks Ray for the comment, hopefully it will give them insight.

  5. Gena Livings August 7, 2013 at 11:39 pm #

    Miriam,
    This is such a valuable posting for me. I was “wondering” about hashtags and the relevance of them along with all the do’s an don’ts. You answered all my questions so I really appreciate this information. Thank You! Spot on!
    Gena Livings
    http://www.GenaLivings.com – Healthy Living

    • Miriam August 8, 2013 at 12:12 am #

      You are welcome Gena and glad it helped 🙂

  6. Carmen Perez August 8, 2013 at 6:43 pm #

    Well timed article for me. I was having this discussion yesterday. Xx

    • Miriam August 8, 2013 at 6:50 pm #

      Glad it helps Carmen 🙂

  7. Alicia Taylor August 8, 2013 at 7:36 pm #

    I’ve been surprised that I don’t see more hashtags on Facebook, to be honest. On a humorous side note, my son’s friend’s graduating class chose #hashtags for their yearbook theme and totally blew it. I suggested next time, they hire a social media consultant.

    • Miriam August 8, 2013 at 7:54 pm #

      lol thanks for sharing Alicia

  8. Sharon O'Day August 9, 2013 at 12:46 am #

    Such a clear, instructive guideline to using #hashtags, Miriam! Nothing is more frustrating than an interesting text being made unreadable because every other word has a hashtag in front of it!

    • Miriam August 9, 2013 at 1:02 am #

      Thanks for commenting Sharon and it is frustrating!!

  9. Klaudia August 11, 2013 at 3:57 am #

    #wisely is a keyword here 🙂 and again great post!

    • Miriam August 11, 2013 at 4:08 am #

      Thanks Klaudia

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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    […] 4. Going Hashtag Crazy – Nothing appears more spammy than putting more than 3 hashtags next to posts. Hashtags are useful for increasing your reach, however your connections will be annoyed if they see you putting too many hashtags (more than 3) next to your posts. Read this post I had written about hashtags and how to use them. […]

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    […] you don’t need to use all of the hashtags in one post listed above. Be sure to not to use more than 7 hashtags for your Instagram pics or else it will appear too spammy (For other networks like Facebook and Twitter it is not advisable […]

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