Attention, Hashtag Users!

10 Jun 2013 | written by Ashley R. Cummings for the Social Networking section(s)

Hashtag Rules

Hashtags used to be a hilarious way to say something under your breath on Twitter, but things have gotten a little out of hand. Lately, I’ve come across a lot of different hashtag faux pas, and it’s beginning to make me feel awkward. In an effort to help the world become more refined in their hashtag usage, I thought I’d outline some common misuses of the hashtag that won’t do your social marketing strategy an ounce of good.

Hashtags are not to be used in the following ways (unless you really want to; I’m not the boss of you):

1. Hashtags are not extensions of your post

At some point in your social media usage, you’ve probably seen a great post with a few clever sentences, followed by another few clever sentences allmashedtogetherandnearlyimpossibletoread, preceded by a hashtag. Next time you see this, I dare you to click on the link. Chances are there will be only one person in the whole Internet world using that hashtag. Remember, the purpose of hashtags is to categorize and organize conversations online, not to facilitate wittiness.

2. Hashtags are not long

Along the same lines, hashtags are not supposed to be super long. It’s difficult to read long hashtags. It’s difficult to write long hashtags. It’s difficult to search long hashtags. And, they take up a lot of precious character space. Just say no to long hashtags.

3. Hashtags should become a hyperlink

If your hashtag isn’t hyperlinked, then there is really no need for a hashtag. Hashtags are primarily used to help connect you with people interested in similar topics as you.

4. Hashtags are not for every word in your post

Hashtags are a great way to help people understand the main idea of your post. However, keep in mind that every word doesn’t convey the main idea. #Avoid #hashtagging #every #single #word #in #your #post.

Ashley R. Cummings
Ashley recently graduated with her Master of Arts from Brigham Young University, and now works as a content writer at OrangeSoda. When she is not clacking away at the keyboard, you can find her tearing up the ski slopes, writing poetry, and traveling to and from Russia. And, no, she is not a spy (so far as we know).
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