You’ll be aware of what a hashtag is, if not don’t worry I’ll guide you through. A single keyword or a phrase with the symbol of hash (#) at starting is called a hashtag. It’s usually used for a brand building, promotional activity or conversation on a particular topic which gets a shape of global conversations. The most popular social networks already have a feature of hashtags such as Twitter, Google+, Instagram and now even Facebook introduced hashtags.
How to Choose a Proper Hashtag
To make your messages standout among millions of other conversations going on over social networks you need to choose a proper hashtag.
Thinking about where to start from? Well here are few tips which will surely help you in picking up an appropriate hashtag:
- Check out whether the hashtag is already used in the past or not, try picking something unique for yourself.
- Try keeping the hashtag small as some of the social networks have a limit on number of characters in posting up a status updates. It is suggested to pick a hashtag which shall remain to ten characters at the max.
- Make sure your chosen hashtag shall make sense. If you’re using an abbreviation as a hashtag for some event or a campaign do not forget to mention it on your website, official page etc.
- It should be an attention grabber i.e. try adding in some action oriented word in your hashtag such as win, now, go, stop.
- Check out your hashtag it shall not rely on camel casing i.e. #OneEnd which becomes #oneend and becomes difficult to read.
- Is it hard to spell or got more than one spelling such categorize and categorise.
- Does it reflect the purpose behind choosing it.
- Ask yourself will I’ll be using this hashtag in future also, because if the tag gains popularity it will be beneficial for you to reuse it.
- Who will be using this hashtag?
- Make sure it does not offend anyone?
Do you know when to use it?
Are you intending to initiate a conversation, then probably this is the time when you need to start using a #hashtag. However, if you are getting engaged within a conversation that already contains a hashtag, don’t forget to use that within your messages as it will not only include your messages into the stream of that hashtag but will also make your followers aware that you’re indulged into some activity.
Strengthen up your Hashtag by making it a central point of discussion e.g. Southwest Interactive used #SXSW for their Film & Music Festival, which takes place every year. Numerous activities are performed within the event but only one same hashtag is being used by them every year.
Be sure of what you choose as the producers of American X-Factor made a blunder by choosing #XFUSA so that they can distinguish with the original one which is the British version and users #xfactor. Below you can see the metrics to analyze what happened next…LOL.
Using Hashtag for Q/Ans sessions is a proven way of engaging your fans or followers in fact also helps in expanding your social network some good examples here which you should browse includes #AskObama (Barrack Obama), #askjt (Justin Timberlake)
Use ’em carefully
#Do #not #ever #post #such #stupid #message or #updatestatus #likethis.
You might came across such tweets or posts which contains way too much hashtags, it looks silly. I strongly advice not do it at all. Try restricting yourself maximum to two hashtags per message as it not only looks cleans but also gives a professional feeling.
In the end don’t forget the trending topics, if your content somehow relates a trending hashtag, it’s pretty ok to use it slong with your own unique hashtag. As trending hashtags are those tags which are being used by millions of users at a time the benefit of using them is that you can get into the stream of it and be exposed to huge number of users online.
You also need to keep this in mind that misuse of this can back fire as it could annoy people. However, using it properly will help you in generating business leads, branding of your hashtag and an increase in fans / followers engagement.
Are you currently using hashtags in your online efforts? What really work best for you?