Hashtag Abuse: How to Use Hashtags Best

If you are active on any social media network, you have seen hashtag abuse. Hashtags are meta tags that group conversations togethers based on a specific topic. WIth the ability to use hashtags on Facebook, hashtag abuse is becoming more prevalent.

In September, Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon showed us what hashtag abuse sounds like outloud.

They sound a little stupid, don’t they?

Here are some tips on how to use hashtags best:

1. Don’t use more than two hashtags per message. When you use more than two it looks like you are spamming your audience. Hashtags help others discover your message and help you join a specific conversation. Think back to the video above, how would your message sound out loud.

2. Make sure your hashtags are relevant. Don’t just use generic words like #you, #like, or #hi. When choosing which words to use, think about why you are choosing that word.
If you are talking about the World Series game, use the #WorldSeries hashtag.

3. Don’t use a word in a middle of your sentence and again as a separate hashtag. This just looks repetitive. Instead, hashtag the word in the middle of the sentence. For example, “Great article on how to use #hashtags! #socialmediatips

4. Do not use punctuation marks or other symbols in your hashtags. When you use punctuation or other symbols, the tag is listed only listed by the letters that occur before it.

5. Research your hashtags before. We have all seen the social media blunders of some major brands for jumping on trending hashtags. Before you add a specific hashtag to your message, find out who is using it and how.

When you abuse hashtags, you are not only turning your audience off, but you are canceling out the effectiveness of general hashtag use. Before you hit the pound sign, think.