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#AmIDoingThisRight: A Guide to the World of Hashtags

posted on Tuesday, October 8, 2013 by Claire Sullivan

Choosing a hashtag used to be a decision users made on Twitter; however, now the popular character has crossed platforms and officially gone mainstream. In fact, a study by RadiumOne reveals that 75 percent of social media users are using hashtags.

Let’s back up for just a second though, and look at what exactly the purpose of a hashtag is.

The hashtag was created to effectively group tweets and make it easier for users to find topics being talked about in the Twittersphere. Because of this, hashtags can be an integral tool for increasing Twitter engagement if used correctly.

So as a brand, how do you effectively use a hashtag?  Here’s a quick run through of the dos and don’ts of choosing a hashtag for a Twitter campaign.

  • Do your research. Spend the time to do a quick search on Twitter for the hashtag you are considering. If it has been recently used, you may look at choosing something else.
  • Don’t make it too long. A tweet only allows for 140 characters, an important fact to keep in mind when developing your hashtag. You want people to use it and still have enough characters left for their tweet.
  • Do make it specific. Choose a hashtag that is narrow in focus, because you don’t want your message to be lost in unrelated tweets.
  • Don’t make it hard to use. The point is for people to use it, so avoid choosing words that are easily misspelled.
  • Do engage. To help the hashtag reach its potential, engage with users who are using it to promote the hashtag further.

 

For additional help when it comes to choosing a hashtag, see Twitter’s guide. And if you ever wondered what some people’s use of hashtags on social media sounds like in everyday conversation, here’s Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon to show you.

 

 

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  • Meg Harmer

    Thank you for this article! I find myself sometimes lost for a quick explanation of exactly what hashtags are, and can be used for, when the less ‘social media savvy’ peeps in my life ask! Now, I know exactly where to refer them to!

    In addition, I couldn’t agree with you more on your points of ‘Be Specific’ & ‘Engage’ — So many hashtags exist for various events, conferences and general use, it’s so important to stand out from the rest and to be recognizable.

    • DVLpradical

      Meg,

      I’m so glad you found this quick explanation helpful and plan on referring others here. #thanksforreading

      -Claire