Part 2 Getting a handle on your hashtags

Posted by MailGuard Editor on 23 September 2014 01:15:00 AEST


See what I did there? In Part 1 ‘What’s the ‘hash’ on hashtagging?’ you learnt about the history and the power of hashtags. 

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Now you understand the point of hashtagging, you might be interested to learn how to add hashtags to your own personal social media accounts. Many nonsensicalhashtags are created every day by people who are not really sure exactly how they are supposed to work, but think that they should be used within their social media posts anyway. Hashtags are a way for you to tag your posts with keywords. Let’s go back to basics with some handy hashtagging tips and general etiquette.


You can create a hashtag simply by adding the ‘#’ symbol before a single word or phrase. It doesn't matter if you use capitalisation or not, and keep in mind a phrase must be without spaces or punctuation, and numbers are ok.

You aren’t writing an essay so don’t use too many words if you choose to hashtag a phrase. If you take a look at the highest trending hashtags on Twitter, you will notice that majority of them are short one word hashtags, while others may be 3 or 4 words. Try to keep the length at 1 – 4 words.

Choose the right hashtag. Use hashtags when they are going to add something to your tweet or post, and be sure to use hashtags that are relevant to the topic so that you don’t lose control of the message you are trying to share.

#Please #Don’t #Spam #With #Hashtags #Its #Really #Annoying. This also goes for people who take their love of hashtagging to the streets and add hashtags to real-world conversations. If you would like to see just how annoying over-hashtagging is, then watch this video #HashtagJimmyFallon.

Beware of what you are actually hastagging. It is this aspect of hashtagging which has caused the most headaches (albeit hilarious ones) for first time hashtaggers. If you were to Google hashtag fails, there are some very funny examples. In April 2013 a very popular trending hashtag about the death of Margaret Thatcher was #nowthatchersdead. Written out in a sentence this should say “Now Thatcher is dead”. Some twitter followers misinterpreted this hashtag to be “Now that Cher is dead” and that it was indeed the singer Cher who was visiting the pearly gates (as shown in the RIP tweets on her Twitter page), and not the ex-British Prime Minister. A word to the wise, be sure to have a closer look at your hashtags to save yourself any future embarrassment. Remember once it is out in cyberspace it is very difficult to control.

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By following these tips you will be hashtagging like a pro in no time at all! Hashtags are so common in everyday life that people also use them in text messages, online chats, songs and advertising, just please don’t use in verbal conversations. In fact, hashtagging can even be beneficial to your business social media presence too. If you would like to learn how to market your business with hashtagging, stay tuned for Part 3 ‘Hashing your way to success’.

Topics: Social Media Marketing SEO

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