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Hashtag Best Practices

Do you wonder why you aren’t consistently adding new followers or why you receive very few retweets or replies on Twitter?

With over 300 million tweets per day, it can be easy for your business to get lost in the shuffle. Within that massive chunk of streaming white noise though, there is a way to cut through the garbage and reach out to potential customers to build and strengthen relationships — the hashtag.

What Is a Hashtag?

If you have little-or-no experience with Twitter, the hashtag is a word or phrase within a tweet that begins with the number sign symbol (e.g., #hashtag). It’s a way of categorizing a tweet using keywords, which makes it easier for people to find more tweets on a subject and join the conversation, if they so choose (e.g., “NEW BLOG POST: Using Hashtags to Boost Customer Engagement. #socialmedia #twitter). A hashtag can also add context to a seemingly random tweet (e.g., “Great shot! #wimbledon”).

Hashtag Best Practices

Stick to these hashtag tips and you should start to see an uptick in your social engagement:

Don’t Go Overboard

A recent study by Buddy Media (@buddymedia) shows that “using more than two hashtags [per tweet]…leads to a 17% drop in engagement.” The sweet spot looks to be one – two hashtags per tweet — they receive a 21% higher engagement than tweets with three or more hashtags. A local dentist takes this advice to heart here:

 

Relevancy is Critical

Good, relevant tweets with appropriate hashtags will improve engagement. Stick to what is going on in your industry and your locality and you can’t go wrong. This tweet from an insurance company appeared during the 2012 Colorado wildfires:

 

Build Your Brand

Creating unique hashtags is the perfect way to promote special events, offers, and more. Go Further is the new corporate slogan for Ford Motor Company — they also used it as a hashtag for a series of events:

 

Keep them Short

The more space you use for a hashtag, the less room you have to fit in more valuable info. #superlonghashtagsdontdoanybodyanygood. Also, for users who prefer to retweet the old-fashioned way, the shorter the tweet itself, the better. Remember, you only have 140 characters to say what you want to say — that’s valuable real estate!

During a Starbucks social campaign to encourage customers to purchase a drink for their best friends:

 

COCG, a Raleigh-based internet marketing company, offers our clients a variety of social media services, from strategy development to reputation management. To work with us, contact our staff today and follow us @click_optimize.