Last week we discussed the history of the hashtag, the fairly new digital communication vehicle that has the ability to connect millions of people around the world with a single word or phrase. Now that we’ve explored what hashtags are and on what social channels they can be used to expand the reach of your message, let’s break down the details.
- #TakeItEasy Hashtags can be overwhelming if there are too many in one post or the phrase is too long. A good rule of thumb is to choose one to three simple hashtags per post and to string together words that are simple to read when pushed together. Also consider how capitalization can be the difference between a trend and a total fail.
- #ContextMatters There are dozens of horror stories of people or companies taking advantage of a trending topic and not researching the context before using it. In some cases, misunderstanding or completely ignoring context has turned into a PR disaster. Before publishing a hashtag, send it out to a varied internal audience to ensure the message is clear and doesn’t include any potential faux pas.
- #BeRevelant Don’t expect your hashtag to make an impact if no one else is talking about it. While understanding context is important, it’s OK—recommended even—to jump on trends and reimagine the context to support your brand.
The bottom line is that hashtags are an incredible tool to connect with your current audience and explore a totally new one. But, as with all marketing campaigns, researching before tweeting is a top priority. Incorporating hashtags into your regular social media content can boost your engagement factor, so #GoForIt.