A Guide to Proper Hashtag Treatment

Hashtags

Hashtags – what’s the deal? Are they still useful? Is its growth killing or reviving them? Should we continue to try to use them or just give up?

Although the hashtag’s domain has quite expanded, we’re going to bring this article back to the hashtag’s roots: Twitter.

The answer is a little more complicated than yes or no. Hashtags are absolutely still alive, and there is no death in sight. But there is a grey area of how helpful they can really be.

The general goal of a hashtag is to categorize a post and give it the ability to be found by users seeking posts on the same subject. It can be a very useful tool for marketing campaigns and connecting with your consumers, but the hashtag is a delicate flower that is very easily mistreated.

Hashtags must be handled with great care and intent in order for their purpose to be fulfilled. Being aware of hashtag abuse could save you from potential social media suicide.

The general goal of a hashtag is to categorize a post and give it the ability to be found by users seeking posts on the same subject.

These examples show the potential negative feedback you could get from any call to response. If tweets address a specific poor experience, it’s worth apologetically reaching out to that user, but general negativity is best to be ignored in order to avoid bringing attention to the criticism, though the best brands often think up creative ways to address it and turn the negativity into positive PR.

Although not shown, McDonald’s did have plenty of very positive interaction with their #McDMonopoly campaign. So great job, McDonald’s, for not letting the haters keep you from running your social media campaign!

#HonorableMention to #McDMonopoly

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The best use of hashtags creates interaction with your following. Encourage them to engage with you by retweeting or responding to their tweets that use your hashtag.

Your social media campaign should revolve around something that followers will find interesting enough to read and respond to, expanding your audience and building brand loyalty by establishing those relationships. You know you’ve got it in the bag when followers start using your hashtag to create their own content, thus becoming brand ambassadors.

You must find a balance within specificity. Being too vague will decrease brand identity and get lost in the sea of the other thousands of people eating #lunch.

#ExcellentUse

skittles_excellent1

Contrarily, being too specific will make it more difficult to trend and restrict your potential audience, because how many people are going to further look into a #YummyCafeTurkeyAndCheeseCroissant? Not only are you abusing your friend, the hashtag, but, quite frankly, you’re annoying your followers. Elect for one that will open you up to interactions with your non-followers too, like #TurkeyTuesday. Who doesn’t want to get some love for putting the best filter on their turkey sandwich?

Your social media campaign should revolve around something that followers will find interesting enough to read and respond to, expanding your audience and building brand loyalty by establishing those relationships.

Now that you have this great hashtag, you must use discretion because #no #one #wants #to #read #something #that #looks #like #this #and #they #won’t #click #on #anything #and #you #will #be #a #TurkeyTuesday #PartyOfOne. Just keep it simple.

#Abuse

skittles_abuse1

You shouldn’t try to combine multiple campaigns with various hashtags in one tweet or Instagram. It just makes for a confusing, unattractive addition to your followers’ timelines. The life of the hashtag is far from expired, so help it to live happily and healthily by standing up against its abuse. It’s better for you, it’s better for me, it’s better for @Everyone, but, most importantly, it’s better for the #Hashtag.

An Ode to Hashtag

Oh hashtag, dear hashtag, how much you have grown
From one little tweet to globally known

You were born into Twitter, an exciting new trend
Never expected how much your name would extend

A new innovation, a great tool to use
So how to make certain you won’t be abused?

Oh hashtag, poor hashtag, do you serve a real purpose?
Do you link to the answers? Can you bring the tweets to us?

You had such potential, but time surely told
Instead of engaging, you got really old

A positive comeback seems utterly doubtful
With how often you’re placed in front of a mouthful

#BabyJoeWalkedTwoSteps will not be repeated
By linking to nothing, your purpose defeated

#Truth #Yay #Bye #Stressed, #Problems #Why #Blessed
Your vagueness is painful, just give it a rest

And oh, trending topics, they give us no hope
#UNoUHavSwag out ranks the #NewPope

Oh hashtag, dang hashtag, no one would have guessed
Our former pound symbol would become such a pest

Twitter we can handle and Instagram and Vine
You’re newly on Facebook, but that won’t suffice

Now spoken out loud? I can’t click on those words!
This identity crisis is becoming absurd

Not only annoying when you’re in conversation
But also your purpose is now justification

Why is it that, when using your name,
These repugnant phrases dismiss proper shame

Sorry not sorry and Total Betch Move
The ironic #Winning when we morally lose

Of all of your uses I’ve expressed disapproval,
I’d take them all day for a #YOLO removal

But Hashtag, Oh Hashtag, the facts we’ll embrace
No matter how bizarre, you can’t be replaced

As your utility fades, steady usage still shows
Not fancied, nor detested, popularity still grows

So this one’s for you, a deserved pat on the back
Keep doing your thing, our strange friend, Hashtag.

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Meet the Contributor: All the way from the University of Mississippi, Morgan Gregory has moved to London for the summer to work alongside the MintTwist marketing team where she is able to apply and expand upon her love of writing. When she’s not writing in her own blog or traveling across the pond, Morgan enjoys spending her time playing with youngsters, engaging in conversation with strangers, and serving her university’s student government. Her favourite quotation is “Teamwork makes the Dream work.” Follow her in action: @mogreg

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