How to Use Hashtags Without Going Overboard

November 08, 2013 digital marketing

The world is going hashtag crazy! People love using hashtags because it makes them more visible online and allows them to be part of a larger discussion. When hashtags are used in the right manner, you can connect with users on a more personal note. You can even ‘own’ conversations that are already taking place. But today, brands and businesses are going seriously overboard with using hashtags. Too many hashtags are just terrible to look at and seems to take the attention of a user away from what you intended them to do. If you play your cards right, you can use a hashtag to your brand’s advantage.

Hashtags & Twitter

According to a study by HubSpot social-media strategist Dan Zarrella, using hashtags once or twice in a tweet, increases its chances of being retweeted by 55%. This is because hashtags allow a wider audience to access your tweets. Good Twitter practise calls for the use of 3 or less hashtags in a tweet. Any more would mean you are going overboard.

Here are some ways to ensure that you are not going overboard when using hashtags:

1. Choose Your Hashtags Wisely

You would use a hashtag to be located in a vast ocean of social media postings. Therefore, what your hashtag needs to be have to be related to the conversations you want to participate in. For example, if you are into silver jewellery, and you want to be located by someone looking to purchase jewellery, your hashtag would be #jewellery and #silver.

2. Don’t Overuse a Hashtag

Using hashtags too many times is one of the worst ways of making a message discoverable. Not only will it confuse the conversation, it will make it look ‘spammy’. Instead of flooding your post with hashtags, make it a general practise to use only one or two at the most. Make sure your hashtags hit the nail on the head in terms of relevance. Also keep in mind, that just because a hashtag exists, it doesn’t mean you absolutely have to use it. Only relevant hashtags will do the trick and take you to a meaningful place. Spam begets spam.

3. Test Your Hashtag

Throwing a # sign in front of a word doesn’t a creative hashtag make. Your hashtag must be something that is in use and something that is relevant. Test your hashtag if you aren’t sure whether it is relevant or not. You can do this by typing it into the search bar in Twitter or Facebook and gauge the results. Sites like Hashtags.org also allow you to see hashtags that are trending and choose relevant ones from there. Another great way to help you reach your target audience are trending tags.

Hashtags therefore, can be a very effective marketing tool, but only if used correctly. These tips can ensure that your hashtags deliver the optimum marketing effects for your brand and business.

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