Overzealous? Use Hashtags Without Being Annoying

December 4, 2012
Hashtags are a very valuable tool in bringing in more people to support your brand, but with these nifty features it also becomes too easy to be excited and, eventually, annoying. If you hashtags properly, you can quickly gain a good reputation online and establish yourself as one of the top marketers in the industry. However, some people do not follow the guidelines properly, thereby making it hard for others to believe whether or not they are legitimate. Use it infrequently and you don't get anywhere with your business; use it too much and you get tagged as a spammer. Here are tips on using hashtags without being a pain.

1. Check for related hashtags to avoid duplication.

It is highly possible that the event or topic you?re planning to create a hashtag on already has one existing. Try the search function on Twitter to look for similarly named ones or those that are already trending well?on the social media platform. Be unique when making hashtags by specifying the details and keeping the content relevant for the benefit of joining online users. For example, for a Comic Convention happening in Dallas on December 2012, the better hashtag would be #ComiConDallas12 over #ComiCon12. The former is more specific and targeted, so you're sure you're reaching the right market from the right place.

2. Name it properly.

Use the right keywords?that will adequately describe what the topic is about. Avoid using important or major words just to attract potential clients. Many online users actually get annoyed by joining a hashtag then realizing that it is completely remote from the name or keywords used. You can end up losing followers by misrepresenting. For a new haircare product named Sun, for instance: Okay: #SunShampoo Not Okay: #SunKissed Remember, Twitter is used by millions from all over the world, so you can't expect everyone to relate with your hashtag or immediately understand what it's about.

3. Tweet regularly.

It?s best to tweet in a timely fashion so that you can provide the necessary updates without sounding too loud or looking like a spammer. The tweets should be consistent with your brand as well. Casual tweets are acceptable but limit these and post more relevant material and content. Tweeting regularly will remind your followers that you exist. Of course, if you're holding a Twitter contest, you will have to post more often in one day.

4. Follow proper form.

Separate words by capitalizing the first letter when using two or more keywords. Also avoid putting hashtags in every word or too many words in your tweets. At best, one or two hashtags in your tweets are acceptable. Make these easy to recognize and remember for your target audience. Okay: #AppleIphone5 Not Okay: #LovingTheAppleIphone5SoMuch

5. Start activities and initiate promotions.

Provide a variety of activities using the hashtags to keep people interested. Twitter users often get bored or annoyed with the same topics being repeated again and again. It?s better to run competitions?and make use of various activities that will spark the interest of potential clients and associates. This will make you seem more fun and approachable.

6. Offer a personal approach.

Give the impression that a real person is managing the account or initiating the hashtag. Ask and answer questions from your followers. Encourage an interactive exchange among online users. This will make you seem more approachable and friendlier to your audience.

7. Determine why you want a hashtag in the first place.

Use hashtags to accomplish your business goals and objectives and not to merely try and gain more followers. Do not piggyback?on the hashtags of others. Also respect others online and find ways to contribute for the benefit of your target audience. Track conversations and find out which topics and approaches will best work for your cause. Continue to adjust your program or strategy according to their needs. Collaborate with other experts in the industry so you will always be regarded as a reliable source of information. Given the freedom Twitter has given its users over creating a new hashtag, it's too common to find people getting carried away with their keyphrases. Hashtags are primarily there to bring people together under one subject. They're a great way to interact with like-minded people and build new business. Don't spoil it by being overzealous.

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