The #hashtag - you either love it, hate it, or you have no idea what we are talking about. You might think it is just a fad or a trend, or perhaps you even hope for its demise. Well, we have some news for you…it is not going anywhere, at least not anytime soon. Businesses and marketers have discovered far too much value in this little crosshatch. The number of ways in which people can make the hashtag work for their brand or business is impressive. So, since it is here to stay, we’ve outlined several ways you can (and should) utilize the hashtag in order to reap the many benefits Twitter has to offer.
- Engage in the trends. If something is trending, it means it is getting a high level of attention online. The main point of advertising is to, first and foremost, win the attention of people. While that sounds simple, it does take some wit and a little wooing. Get in on the conversations that are already taking place. It is called social media for a reason and your business will not get anywhere by remaining antisocial. The trending section on Twitter uses the hashtag to group conversation topics together. Check out this section and see if you can add something relevant to the conversations that are already taking place.
- Do not abuse the hashtag. Like we said, the whole point of a hashtag is to group relevant information together, making it easier to see when others are tweeting about the same topics you are. With this in mind, it is possible to wear out the hashtag. Do not over use it. Using the hashtag too much, or in the wrong ways, can reduce the value of your tweets. Think of a hashtag as the subject of a sentence. If it fails to sum up the point or provide the main value of a tweet, ditch it. You do not need it. Often you will see that people add a couple keyword hashtags after a sentence. This is okay to do, but we recommend including no more than a total of three hashtags per tweet.
- Create your own, unique hashtag. If your business is launching a new marketing campaign or special event, take advantage of it. This is the perfect time to start your own conversation. Create and advertise a unique hashtag for your campaign. Ask people to tweet your hashtag when referring to your company or campaign. If people like your hashtag, you might see a boost in interaction. Before you know it, you could be going viral.
- Avoid being a #Rookie. Never use punctuation in hashtags. Using any kind of punctuation in a hashtag will cause it to break. If the hashtag breaks, it may not show up in searches. Or worse, it may show up in the wrong searches, making you look like a rookie. For instance, in the case of "#JustDon’t", hashtaging the apostrophe will break the hashtag. Instead, "#Just Don" will be the searchable portion, and that will not do anything for your tweet. So, #JustDont do it.