The Golden Rule to Hashtags

#Do #you #ever #see #tweets #like #this? I hope it’s not yours – kidding.

hashtag Hashtag usage is intentional by the way it organizes Twitter conversation. The information and conversation tracked by #ScrippsPRCW bonded us together. The use of hashtags also broadens prospective audiences. Joining national Twitter chats rapidly grows the audience that sees your tweet purely from the hashtag.

My favorite use of hashtags is its track abilities. We know the whole world was watching Scandal on Thursday. #Gladiators united and trended. More importantly, people use hashtags to identify an event, emergency or breaking news.

What we must remember through the excitement of news or TV shows is not to overuse hashtags. It’s used as conversation piece, not the whole story.

The rule

It depends where you look, but most marketing experts and outlets say no more than three. My personal rule is two. I feel overwhelmed when I read more than two hashtags in a tweet. From an appearance perspective, it’s #ugly, and it makes the tweet difficult to read. Social media is a place where content has an expiration. Numerous hashtags clog the information tunnels. Google doesn’t even like too many hashtags in a tweet. The overuse of hashtags excludes the tweets from its real time search results.

Tweets are only 140 characters. Don’t waste 50% of your tweet on hashtags. Use the character space for valuable, strategic content. Like I mentioned earlier, hashtags track conversation. Multiple hashtags lessen the possibility of your tweet having searchable results.

Best practices

To avoid hashtag abuse in your personal or business Twitter pages here are list of best practices from Mashable:

  • Be Specific: Make sure hashtags are relevant and specific to the topic. Avoid vague or generic hashtags because they’re less effective in conversation and searches. For example, if you watch the Bachelor you wouldn’t tweet #rose. No one would identify the context of the message.
  • Keep it Simple: Know what’s trending and never use the same hashtag twice.
  • Give Context: #A #tweet #full #of #hashtags #is #confusing. Don’t let hashtags speak for you, add more to the conversation. Use the allotted characters to tell a story, and let the hashtag compliment it.

Always remember to tweet creatively!

Melaina Lewis is a junior Strategic Communications major specializing in Global Leadership and Marketing. You can follow her on Twitter at @melaina_lewis 

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