3 common misconceptions about Twitter hashtags

by Katerina Petropoulou, posted 1 month ago
Join 500,000+ users and check your own Twitter Stats for Free! Sign up now!

When hashtags were first introduced on Twitter seven years ago, they were used to help users tag their tweets under a certain topic so that people could easily find relevant content on Twitter.

But even though hashtags have become a key part of the Twitter experience, hashtag mistakes are not uncommon. Let’s take a look at the three most common misconceptions:

1. The more, the better

Sometimes Twitter users are so anxious to reach as many people as possible in one tweet that they use hashtags #for #every #single #word.

This is both annoying for your audience but also unnecessary. In fact, tweets with more than two hashtags have the worst engagement rates. So instead, pick quality over quantity. One or two well-thought-out, targeted hashtags will have a greater impact on your engagement rates than six or seven random ones.

2. The longer, the better

Using #HashtagsThatAreWayTooLong is confusing. If you’re launching your own hashtag to promote your product, service or cause, your goal is to make your audience use it often so that it’s spread as fast as possible.

But a long hashtag, ironically, won’t go a long way. People will more likely find it confusing which means that they will be less keen to use it. But there’s also a practical reason: long hashtags take up many characters. This is means that by choosing a long hashtag for your campaign, you make it difficult for your audience to engage and use it in their own tweets.

3. Think it, tweet it 

Sometimes, choosing a hashtag can be a bit more complicated. So how to avoid hashtag mishaps?

If you are choosing a hashtag that is already out there, take a look at how this is being used on Twitter. The last thing you want to do is to hijack a hashtag that is irrelevant to your target audience and in no way related to your tweets. Keep in mind that hashtags are a great tool for reaching out to your niche audience but if you use them for spamming, get ready for some backlash.

But what happens when you need to come up with a brand new, unique hashtag? If you’re looking to promote your brand on Twitter then you’re probably trying to come up with a unique hashtag that is short, easy to remember and relevant.

However, more often than ever people launch their Twitter hashtags without doing any research. The first step you need to take is to run a quick Twitter search or set up a Twitter tracker. Is the hashtag you had in mind already being used? Then you might consider coming up with a new hashtag for your campaign or decide whether or not it would valuable to you to join the current conversation.

Next, take a close second look at the new hashtag you’ve chosen. Is there any way that it could be used negatively? You might be surprised by how many hashtag campaigns have gone terribly wrong in the past. Bottom line is: do your homework and be prepared!

Now, your turn! Are there any hashtag mistakes you caught yourself making? “Confess” in the comments below!

Comments

  • Howard J. Sewell

    I find it strangely ironic that there’s no way on this page to share this post via Twitter.

  • http://www.carlzetterberg.com/ Carl Zetterberg

    See image.
    Could be more visible in terms of conversion rate of shares though, if that’s what you mean. :)

  • Howard J. Sewell

    Thanks Carl – I see it now that you point it out but I didn’t see it previously, and frankly even now it’s not completely clear that’s a “share this post” link vs. just a counter. IMHO, you could use a more prominent and intuitive “share this” link. I’d dump the light blue, for a start. Respectfully, Howard

  • http://www.carlzetterberg.com/ Carl Zetterberg

    Agreed! :)

  • Lisa Hoekstra

    Me too!