Nowadays hashtags (#) are everywhere. You may be wondering what is a hashtag and how should they be used? This article will answer both of these questions.
According to Wikipedia, “ a hashtag is a word or a phrase prefixed with the symbol #.” Hashtags are a type of metadata tag that was first used in Internet Relay Chat (IRC) networks to group data.
Hashtags gained popularity when Twitter users began to use the hashtag to categorize keywords and phrases on the social network. The United States leads the pack as the country who uses hashtags the most.
While hashtags do serve a purpose if they are not used correctly they can annoy your audience (France was so annoyed they banned the word hashtag). Follow these hashtag best practices to avoid being an annoying “hashtagger”.
Only use a hashtag when it adds value.
If adding a hashtag to your message does not add any value then do not add it. Adding hashtags for the sake of having hashtags is annoying. Use hashtags as a means of grouping your messages.
Don’t overuse hashtags.
Hashtags are ok in moderation. As a best practice, make sure that you only use a maximum of two hashtags in a tweet or Facebook post. Anymore than two hashtags in a single message makes you appear spammy.
Here is a great look at how one is viewed when they use too many hashtags.
Keep your hashtags short.
Hashtags are meant to be short in nature. Many times they are only one word. If you tweet a phrase make sure to keep it short and do not add spaces. Long hashtags do not serve a purpose and they make you seem uneducated on how to correctly use them. (example: #sohappytobeoffworktoday - what is the likelihood that someone is searching that phrase?)
So the next time you go to use a hashtag in your tweet or Facebook post follow these hashtag best practice to make sure that you are creating an enjoyable online experience for you audience.