Hashtags originated on Twitter but have since expanded to other social media sites. A hashtag identifies keywords or topics of interest within a post. Used correctly, they facilitate more efficient searches for social media content, but careless hashtag use is downright confusing. These rules will keep your hashtags in shape.
Focus on the Few
Assigning a creative hashtag to a movement, team, or special event is a great way to encourage social promotion. Assign only one hashtag to your campaign, though. Using dozens of catchy hashtags is overkill and will dilute your results when you could be using a laser-focused catch phrase instead.
Keep it Simple
There’s nothing worse than a hashtag that’s #UnnecessarilyLongAndDifficultToRead. Keep it short. If you can’t stick to a single word, don’t use more than three. Hashtags with more than one word should always use proper capitalization and no spaces. Running your words together without capitalization can result in some embarrassing misunderstandings, but using spaces to clarify actually defeats the purpose of the hashtag as only the first word will count for search results. Remember a Tweet is just 140 characters and your hashtag shouldn’t use them all.
Use Smart Keywords
Don’t use a hashtag that has nothing to do with your post even if it’s trending. Your misleading messages will harm your public image. If you want to try riding on the tail of a big trend, you must first create content that’s relevant to it. By all means, do chime in on trending national news or celebrity scandals, just don’t tag them in your tweets unless you’re making a relevant comment. With every post, you should carefully consider keywords that are relevant to your topic, helping interested parties find your content even if they’re new to your brand.
Place Them Properly
It’s fine to use a few select hashtags within your message, but you shouldn’t hashtag every word in your tweet. To simplify reading, don’t use more than two hashtags mid-sentence. Apply these to singular keywords only. Save longer hashtags and additional keywords for the end of the post. Twitter limits your character count so you can only succumb to so many tags, but other sites like Facebook are more lax. Don’t abuse your ability to post a longer message by adding an excessive stream of hashtags. If they’re chosen carefully, two or three hashtags will work just fine.
Proofread Your Hashtags
Misspellings are always unprofessional, but they’re doubly so in a hashtag. The autocorrect features on the latest smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S5 are handy, but even this can mistake your meaning. Triple check before you post. If you don’t spell the keyword correctly, no one will find it and your efforts will be wasted.
Hashtags are a powerful marketing tool when you get to know your audience and your keywords. The right phrases will do wonders for your posts. Just make sure you use them wisely so your social media marketing comes off clean and polished rather than messy and annoying.