Five key tips on using hashtags (#) on Twitter

By Nicky Rudd
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Some more key pointers about hashtags (#)

 Twitter #Following on from our last post on hashtags, we thought we’d share our top five tips on using hashtags on Twitter.

  1. #Don’t #overuse the #hashtag – the more hashtags you’re using, the more communities and conversations you’re taking part in. Would you talk to three different people on three topics simultaneously in a face-to-face situation? Probably not! Use the most relevant hashtag for your tweet.
  2. Make your tweet easy to read – the more hashtags you use, the more difficult this becomes – another reason for choosing sparingly. One is good, two is okay and with three, you’re on the edge!
  3. Anyone can use a hashtag and not one person ‘owns’ it, even if you are the first person to use it and you feel you have created it. You cannot control other people using it (or abusing it!) (see our last post!) Future proof your hashtag. Keep is short – it’s easier to read and harder to manipulate.
  4. Promote your hashtag so that you’re not the only one using it. Twitter is about conversations so if you want to engage with people, they need to know where to find you. Promote your hashtag in your marketing materials, on your website and other social platforms, at the bottom of your emails and anywhere else that your customers may see it.
  5. Use other hashtags that are linked to the space you’re working in. If you come across a conversation around a hashtag that also relates to your business, join the conversation and use that hashtag. This is good practice. Don’t try and be clever and use a hashtag that has no relevance just to join a conversation that is active with lots of members. The Twitter community self-regulates and this is bad practice and you will get picked up. Remember the issue with Habitat and #iraqwar. If ever a brand learnt the rules of social media engagement the hard way, it was Habitat. Its misuse of hastags such as #iraqwar and #iranelection to promote their products involved a serious error of judgement and it did get pulled up by the Twitter community as well harming its own brand.

Next week question is: “How do Direct Messages on Twitter work?”

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