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Inbound Marketing Blog

    Twitter Tips: A Beginner's Guide to Hashtag Etiquette

    Posted by Bill Faeth

    Hashtags 101

    could be called the most powerful kindergartner on the internet. Since approximately 2007, these grouped keywords, defined with a pound sign, allow Twitter users to easily join conversations and sift through the abundance of available content.
    Due to the incredibly recent nature of this development, even experienced Twitter users are often mystified by the unspoken etiquette of how to use hashtags. Avoid appearing insensitive or insincere by adopting best practices for how to use hashtags

    Write First, Tag Second Twitter is defined as a micro-blogging platform. Keep this technical definition in mind as you strive to produce original, innovative content. Tweets which a written as a vehicle for industry-related hashtags have little value for follower engagement. Write your tweet first and add hashtags second in order to ensure each of the 140 characters packs the maximum punch. If you are wondering how to use hashtags, remember to enhance the tweet, not define it.

    Know the In-Crowd Carefully examine the popularity of a hashtag by searching for it on Twitter or HootSuite before launching a tweet. If you are hoping to inspire engagement among your fans or initiate sincere dialogue, a popular saying can act as an invitation to outsiders. While popular hashtags serve a distinct purpose, original hashtags are often the best bet for engagement in a closed group. If you are curating content or hoping to gain attention by discussing a hot topic, check out trending hashtags to ensure you receive the most mileage possible. Popularity is a critical part of how to use hashtags.

    Keep it Simple It can be tempting to strive for the maximum search mileage for each tweet by peppering the entire 140 characters with hashtags. Not only will including too many hashtags make your tweet difficult to read, it can make you seem desperate for attention. Twitter recommends using no more than 2 hashtags per tweet in order to most effectively relay your thoughts. Clumping hashtags together can also cause your content to be cryptic or even illegible. If you must use multiple hashtags in a single tweet, separate them by at least several words. Restraint and intelligent is a key component of how to use hashtags.

    Be Sensitive While using trending hashtags about current events to bring attention to your brand can be tempting, avoid insensitive hijacking of serious dialogue. You should never take advantage of tragic current events to gain new followers. Joining the conversation is almost always acceptable, but self-interested hijacking is not how to use hashtags.

    Think Like A Dromedary Hashtags are difficult to read, so be sure and use CamelCase. Capitalizing the first letter of each separate word is how to use hashtags for maximum readability. If you are discussing #inboundmarketing, try adding some capitol letters to achieve a more readable #InboundMarketing hashtag.

    Due to the recent explosion of hashtags, even seasoned marketing professionals are left wondering about the unspoken rules that surround  how to use hashtags. Delivering quality content should always be the key focus on a social media platform. Restraint, sensitivity and simplicity are critical pieces of each tweet that should be considered when wondering how to use hashtags.
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    Topics: Social Media