Hashtagging Your Business: How Many Is Too Many?

October 3, 2013
Hashtag by Kejava, on Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License??by??Kejava?
The use of hashtags can be very effective in pushing your business to new heights. A lot of companies have gained hundreds of loyal clients by creating successful hashtags and introducing new products and promos using these. However, it is still important to know your limits and identify the basic rules on hashtagging. Many social media users can easily get annoyed if you use too many or use it too often (sometimes at unrelated occasions). Other potential customers may simply get confused. Here are the top ways to get your hashtag's message across.

1. The 140-character limit

When using Twitter, you are only limited to 140 characters so keep your message brief and direct. Many experts would advise to keep the post up to 100 characters only so you have enough room for links and hashtags. Despite the 140-character limit, the content should still be of good quality and stay fresh. Provide updates and tweets throughout the day. Tweeting 5 to 10 times a day is acceptable. Some companies would go up to 20 to 25, provided these are still content-rich and highly relevant to the industry. Otherwise, you might be flooding your followers? threads, causing them to unfollow or regard you as a spammer.

2. Be specific

When creating a hashtag, begin by using the search function on Twitter. Determine if there are other similar or existing hashtags that pertain to the same field or topic. Come up with a more specific one by providing descriptive keywords. These will make searches easier for current and potential followers. For example, if you?re making a hashtag about the Superbowl, indicate the year, the team name or a specific player. Focus on a particular aspect to appeal better to the target audience.

3. Limit the words

Hashtags should contain no more than 3 to 4 words each. Many social media users make the mistake of using full sentences or too many words without even separating these properly. The hashtags will appear very confusing and completely turn several potential followers off because of the improper arrangement. Use the most common terms that people will most likely type in on the search engine. Also avoid using very generic terms. Use proper nouns as necessary.

4. Limit the number of hashtags

When tweeting or posting on social media networks, use 2 to 3 hashtags at most. Save other hashtags you?d like to use for future posts throughout the day. Many people get very good results by using 1 or 2 hashtags only. When using more than one, make sure that these are related to each other. Drive more social media users to the conversation by including a short but interesting message that is highly related to the hashtag. Provide pictures and other visual content as well to increase appeal.

5. When to use hashtags

When creating hashtags, focus on 1 or 2 only for a few days or a whole week. Your posts should contain the same hashtags in the next few days. Some marketers only use the hashtag once or twice throughout the campaign. Maintain the interest of current and future followers by posting new and unique content together with the same hashtag. Drive the conversation and keep exchanges within topic. Use these sparingly throughout the day as you tweet. These will guarantee added success in hashtag campaigns for businesses. Monitor performance through social analytics tools.

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