The hashtag has gone from a relatively unknown symbol outside of Twitter to a prolific sign that has infiltrated popular culture. It enables your posts to be seen by those not directly connected to you, but interested in the same things, and facilitates conversations among those using the same hashtags.

But like all good things, they need to be used in moderation to avoid frustrating your audience. Here are the golden rules of hashtag use.

Quality over quantity

Lots of social media accounts hashtag every second word in a Tweet, and as a reader it is not only difficult to work out what the poster is saying, it’s also quite annoying. Stick to one or two hashtags that sum up the theme of the Tweet or post, and don’t necessarily use them in every single one. Variety is the spice of life – and of social media.

Choose wisely

It might sound odd, but researching popular hashtags that are already in use are going to result in more eyeballs on your post than making up your own. If you sell food processors, for example, you’re better off using a hashtag on the word ‘baking’ or ‘cooking’ than on the name of your newest model. If you want to make up your own hashtag, ensure it is well thought out and well researched, and that you have the means to extend its use beyond your own account.

Make them relevant

Using popular or trending hashtags is a great way to get your content seen, but if you use them when they aren’t relevant (e.g. Using #Superbowl and linking to content about mortgage advice), you’re not going to do yourself any favours. Consumers will see straight through this and immediately dismiss it as spammy.

Go short

A long hashtag is a hard hashtag to read, so keep them short and snappy for maximum impact. You can capitalise the first letter of each word (#MovieNight) to make them easier to read, and try to keep them no longer than three words. You don’t want people giving up on your content because the tag is too long to work out.

The long game

Social media is a fast, frenetic world. The life span of a post is really, really short, so don’t just Tweet once and hope for the best. Select a handful of hashtags that you plan to use regularly in your campaign and add them in whenever relevant. If you’re making one up for a specific campaign, insert it across all elements, from print ads to email signatures.

Learn More on Social Media Marketing

To find out more about best practices on social media marketing, contact Whitefish Marketing in Folkestone.  As a specialist digital agency in Kent we often handle social media accounts for an assortment of clients.  Understanding the importance of a good social media presence, the variety required for proper social engagement, and the necessity of continuous social reputation management are the pillars for success.  Here are Whitefish Marketing we know what is required with social media marketing and we know how best to carry out the activities.  Call us on 01303 720 288 for a frank and no-obligation chat with a member of our team.


About Justin Wilson

Justin Wilson is a Digital Marketing Manager with a passion for helping businesses to develop their digital proposition. He has an expertise across the spectrum of digital, including search engine marketing, social media, website optimisation, email marketing and web analytics.