We’ve all seen them. The number sign, followed by a near random word with some semblance to the tweet at hand.
# A Hashtag.
Hashtags form the bread and butter of Twitter, as people can search for them using Twitter Search, run analyses on them with tools like Hashtracking, and allow Twitter Chatssuch as #blogchat to work. That being said, lately I’ve been seeing Tweets from people that look a lot like this:
My name is Joe and I’m a #social #media #consultant with #effective #Wordpress ability.
There is so much wrong with this tweet that I cannot even BEGIN to tear it down. There’s a hashtag #Every other #damn word! Nevertheless, this is why your attempt at Social Media fails:
- Hashtag Overload – Hashtags are good. They let you be a part of a greater chain of social on Twitter. However, when #every #word #is #a #hashtag, it only serves to confuse the hell out of your followers, and reduces your SEO because you look like a spammer.
- Searchability – Here’s a fun fact for you: Those words you keep #hashtagging? They are just as easily searchable without a # as they are with one. In fact, some terms are BETTER without hashtags than with them. Try it. Search for “Social Media” on Twitter, then search “#Social #Media.” See what comes up.
- Search queries – Seriously, who the hell is going to be searching for #effective on Twitter? Nobody. That’s who.
Now that we got that covered, here’s my tips on how to use Hashtags to the best:
- Use 1-2 hashtags TOPS – You can’t make every damn word a keyword. Just use one. Two at most.
- Make them relevant - Don’t talk about cooking food and add #socialmedia to the Tweet. If it’s about food, make it #food. About blogging? Use #blogging. Don’t use frivolous hashtags that make no sense.
- When chatting, Twitter Chat Hashtags take priority – This should be obvious.
- Place hashtags at the end of a tweet – While not a hard and fast rule, you should do this for the sake of clarity for the Tweet.
Hashtags will help people seek you out and employ you if you use them properly. Abuse them, and you’re in there with the spambots.