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Twitter Hashtags: How to make sure you’re Not a HashHole

  • 3
  • September 16, 2015

Are you familiar with the term “hash-hole”?

If not, don’t worry, you aren’t alone.

I had never heard it before it was used Twitter Hashtagsduring one of Kim Garst’s recent #SocialCents chats.

And even then, I thought, “what does that even mean?

Well according to the Urban Dictionary, a hash-hole is someone who has “poor quality posts combined with overuse of unhelpful hashtags.”

Does this apply to you?

Hopefully not!

However, check out these five tips to make sure that you’re not a hash-hole when it comes to using Twitter Hashtags.

#Don’t #Use #Too #Many #Hashtags.

I love Instagram, but when I see images posted from Instagram onto other platforms with 10-15 hashtags attached, I have to cringe a little.

Too many people believe that it’s a good idea to create a list of every possible keyword that their audience could use and attach these keywords to their messaging.

Unfortunately, the end result is that their posts look spammy and, quite honestly, ridiculous.

Focus on using keywords that people are ACTUALLY using.

If you aren’t sure what those keywords are try looking at hashtagify. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that you won’t find #Use or #The on the list which I always see people using as a Hashtag.

Also, stick to just two or three hashtags per tweet, max. Any more than that and you’ll actually do more harm than good.

Keep your hashtags relevant.

Are your hashtags relevant to your content and brand or are they simply placed there just to get more eyeballs on your content?

When you do a search for “business” on Top-Hashtags, you are given (allegedly) a large list of relevant hashtags. However, when I did this exercise, included in the list was the hashtag #Trump.

Sure, he’s a successful businessman and is regularly in the news these days as a presidential candidate, but is that hashtag really relevant to your business or the content or your tweet? If not, remove it. Including it JUST to take advantage of the buzz around Trump won’t win you any more Twitter followers.

Consider creating your own custom hashtag. If you’re self-branded you may just want to have a hashtag with your name, otherwise your business’s name or a shortened version of it might be a great choice.

Keep your content relevant and value-based.

There will be occasions when the content you’re sharing on Twitter is relevant to your life or your interests more so than your business… and that’s completely okay!

But as a whole, the majority of your content should be relevant to your business and be providing value at all times!

Avoid the temptation to just post updates for the sake of having content.

NO ONE will want to engage with that and you’ll risk losing Twitter followers.

Avoid using a trending hashtag for no reason.

It may be tempting to jump in on a trending hashtag to shine a spotlight on your own brand, but don’t do it!

Think back to the second tip: keep hashtags relevant.

Using a trending hashtag because you’re secretly hoping it will introduce someone to your product or service and that they will then call you (which we all know won’t happen) is a hash-hole move and will only annoy people on Twitter.

If you want to jump on a trending hashtag, try creating RELEVANT and VALUABLE content that allows you to use it.

Kim Garst did this with her blog post, 30 Women in Social Media Who Are Rocking It #LikeAGirl.

She took advantage of the attention surrounding the #LikeAGirl Campaign during the Super Bowl and created content that was relevant to the hashtag AND provided value.

Keep your hashtag short and sweet.

Dontputsomanywordstogetherthatyoucantreadit.

You get the idea. Keep your hashtags relatively short and easy to read quickly.

If you have to focus to understand what it says, you’re using too many words!

Final Thoughts

Hopefully you aren’t a hash-hole, but if you are it’s never too late to change your ways.

Again, just focus on providing valuable content and limiting yourself to only a couple of relevant popular hashtags.

These simple changes will go a long way with your audience and will help you increase your Twitter engagement when done right.

Author Sheena White

Sheena White is a copywriter and social media strategist who helps clients rock their sales copy in order to increase conversions. She also has a copywriting course where she teaches entrepreneurs the strategies they need to write great sales copy.

More posts by Sheena White
  • Normally I’m not a fan of cheeky made up biz terms but this one.. I kind dig it. Much of this applies to publicity trend or ‘newsjacking’, particularly when it’s done wrong. This misuse of hashtags is bad on Twitter and insanely bad on Instagram, making searching almost unusable. Added to my wishlist of social clients are more controls, more filters – i.e. the ability to hide any post w/ more than 2 hashtags. FWIW.

    • Agree tons of newsjacking indeed. Was at a conference this weekend and saw those not attending jumping in on the hashtag (which is perfectly ok) but they were promoting their service/products vs. engaging. They were as the post states a Hash…. 🙂

      Appreciate you stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

  • Normally I’m not a fan of cheeky made up biz terms but this one.. I kind dig it. Much of this applies to publicity trend or ‘newsjacking’, particularly when it’s done wrong. This misuse of hashtags is bad on Twitter and insanely bad on Instagram, making searching almost unusable. Added to my wishlist of social clients are more controls, more filters – i.e. the ability to hide any post w/ more than 2 hashtags. FWIW.

    • Agree tons of newsjacking indeed. Was at a conference this weekend and saw those not attending jumping in on the hashtag (which is perfectly ok) but they were promoting their service/products vs. engaging. They were as the post states a Hash…. 🙂

      Appreciate you stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

  • Grégory Mancel

    Hello @SocialQuant:disqus . You are talking about two or three hashtags per tweet, max but studies show that one or two per tweet is better.

    • Some studies do show that indeed. What we can all agree on is overusing them or using them in the wrong context to manipulate someone isn’t right 🙂

  • Grégory Mancel

    Hello @SocialQuant:disqus . You are talking about two or three hashtags per tweet, max but studies show that one or two per tweet is better.

    • Some studies do show that indeed. What we can all agree on is overusing them or using them in the wrong context to manipulate someone isn’t right 🙂

  • Good points, on IG I put the vast majority of my hashtags in the comments because I feel kinda guilty if I use too many even if they’re relevant. I know those pics carry over to Twitter so I try to keep that in mind and the 140 character limit as well so I want to make the best use of that Real Estate as possible.

    • Thanks for checking this out and Tampa misses you 🙂

      I’d turn off posting from Instagram to Twitter personally and for Instagram hashtag away and definitely in the comments. I post and then copy our most popular in the comments for Instagram.

  • Sigrid Catanzaro

    Thank you for providing these excellent guidelines. New Tweeters especially could be tempted to be a “Hash-Hole” believing it could increase followers. Your article shows how doing so could be a very bad idea.

    • Leadify

      Absolutely!

  • Leadify

    Yes!!! Couldn’t agree more. We will be referring friends & clients to this post who insist on #hashtag #overkill 🙂

  • LOL, LOL

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