The 411 On Hashtags

Have you been using hashtags in your tweets? If you have not jumped on the hashtag train, you have no doubt seen them on Twitter.  Hashtags are the words, or sometimes just jumble of letters that you see following the # sign. Hashtags are not essential, or appropriate for every tweet. Before going hashtag crazy, it is important to know how they can help your business, and when they are actually useful.

Hashtags work for categorizing content. Adding a hashtag into your tweet makes it easier for other users to find. This can be extremely useful when discussing a topic other Twitter users may be discussing as well. For example, during the Superbowl you could search #Superbowl on Twitter and a display of Superbowl related tweets would be the result.

From a marketing standpoint, hashtags can also help to create some buzz around your product or business. For example, say you are the owner of a shoe boutique and you are having a sale on winter boots.  Tweet something about the sale, and then use the hashtag #winterboots. This is a broad category, and someone in the market for winter boots is likely to search “#winterboots.” By incorporating the hashtag into your tweet, your tweet will show up in the search results.

Keep the hashtag brief and easy to read. If you use the hashtag #WinterBootsAreHalfOffAtTheShoeBoutique it is not only hard to read, but it is also likely that nobody will search for that hashtag – and your tweet will not appear in any searches.   Your tweets are already limited to 140 characters, so use them wisely! Use hashtags to get your point across but still remain brief.

Remember there is no point in using a hashtag if you do not keep using it. In other words, be consistent with your hashtags. If you do not repeat the hashtag, your tweet may go unseen by potential customers. Make sure to use your hashtags. Last but not least, be sure your hashtags are relevant and easy to understand.  Twitter is about simplicity – so do not confuse your Twitter followers with a confusing hashtag.

Share