What really is a #hashtag and what does it do?  Hashtags help people connect.  It’s as simple as that.  Hashtags help people effectively utilize almost any social media network out there.

It started off with Twitter and now almost every social media network is allowing the use of hashtags.  Using them with your brand can help your presence grow though out your social media campaign. Since the hashtag originated on Twitter, it’s a good place to start.  Look at some of your competitors and see what they are using for hashtags.  Come up with a list of words or short sayings that work well for your business.  Those will be your hashtags.

In order for your hashtags to have meaning, you must have some good content behind them.  Write meaningful content and build relationships with your followers.  Have helpful content, not an overbearing sales pitch behind your hashtag. Use hashtags when they will benefit you and your business.  Don’t overuse them and put out some nonsense tags that are just going to frustrate your customers. Don’t lure people in with trash tags, use them properly.  Do not use a popular tag that is going to bring someone to your page and have the content be completely unrelated to the tag you used.  There was an incident back in 2011 that caused quite an disturbance in the Twitter world.  During the conflict with Egypt, the designer Kenneth Cole’s account tweeted the following:Hashtag “Millions in an uproar in #Cairo.  Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online at…” This is they type of tagging that is not the type of attention that what you want.  Bringing people to your page in a deceitful way is only going to get you unfollowed.  The Designer ended up having to post an apology for the misleading hashtag.

It is important to have relevance to your tweets and be honest with your followers. Promote your brand and have fun with it.  Create a campaign that is responsive and creates conversation with your followers. Here are a few #Hashtag rules that can help.

  • Don’t use punctuation marks with your hashtags.  If you use multiple words in your tag, use capitalization on the first letter of each word.  This helps with the readability of the hashtag.
  • Try to keep your hashtag to less than 10 letters.  However, be sure they are relevant to your content.
  • You can put a hashtag anywhere in your tweet.  It can be on the first word or an extra word at the end, or anywhere in between.
  • Remember that hashtags are becoming universal with most social media programs.

Remember, use hashtags responsibly and build relationships while promoting your business.