Everyone knows what hashtags are in 2018.
However, not everyone knows how to use hashtags well. When used properly, hashtags make it easier for users to find related content. It’s amazing that these # signs help categorize social media content.
They can help increase the visibility of your messages and boost your social shares. When used inappropriately, however, they can negatively impact your credibility on social media. This can have the inverse effect of decreasing your social activity.
The issue is more complicated when we look at hashtag used beyond Twitter, where they’re most popular.
Let’s take a moment to clear up some confusion.
Avoid These Common Hashtag Mistakes
1. Don’t Use Spaces Or Special Punctuation
Use #SuperBowl, not #super bowl. Your social networks will only recognize the first word. Don’t use punctuation marks, but you can use numbers as long as you compliment them with a bit of text.
2. Don’t Use The @ Symbol In Hashtags
Your hashtags aren’t designed to tag your network’s users. So combining both a hashtag and an “at” symbol will only tag the person/user, and you won’t send a hashtag at all.
3. Don’t Go Overboard With Too Many Hashtags
#How #Annoying #Would #It #Be #To #Have #To #Go #Through #And #Read #Twenty #Hashtags #And #Try #To #Find #Out #What #It #Says.
4. Don’t Spam
There are websites, brands, and individuals that use popular hashtags and just throw them in their social messages with no context. All for the sole purpose of helping other accounts to find them.
This plan may seem to work in the short term. However, just when Instagram did a complete clean out of any account that seemed to be linked with spam, these individuals lose hundreds of thousands of followers at once.
That means their hashtag plan completely backfired on them.
5. Make Sure Hashtags Mean What You Think They Do
Hashtags are often related to current events and cultural trends. If you’re unsure what a hashtag might be referring to, take a few minutes to do some research.
6. Make Sure Your Hashtags Work
If there is a symbol or punctuation in or after the hashtag, you will break the hashtag. Grammar police beware. If you want to post #I’mABeliever, your hashtag will break after the I. You can tell where your hashtag broke when the blue line turns into black text.
If there are letters or numbers before the hashtag, it will break it before it even starts. So if your hashtag is 123#abc, abc won’t link to a hashtag.
If the hashtag is made up entirely of numbers, the hashtag will not hyperlink. But if you include letters with your numbers, the hashtag will work correctly. So #12345 won’t work. but #abc123 will.
Some of these tips are basic. Some you may never have heard of. But one thing is clear: If you make these mistakes, you’ll miss out on the engagement you were hoping to get from your social messages.
Not everyone knows how to use hashtags well. In my last article, we discussed the Hashtag Dos. If you missed it, read it here.
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