Gemma Brown, Neo PR account executive, explains the three rules of social media hashtags
The hashtag #; a symbol that we all recognise, and a word that has become so well known it was even named Children’s Word of Year in 2015.
Created in 2007, for the simple reason of grouping together messages on social media, hashtags are great when it comes to getting your message in front of people who you would otherwise have no online connection with, but may be interested in the same topic.
Used across most of the major social media networks, all you have to do is search for the word or phrase with the hashtag symbol in front of it, and all related posts will appear… it’s as easy as that!
Or is it?
While we think we all know how they work, there are some important unwritten rules regarding hashtags:
Making your hashtag relevant allows other people to find your content, and also means you can in turn find some interesting content and influencers. A good way to keep your hashtags relevant is to see what is trending in your area or worldwide, and contributing towards the online conversation. Try to add things such as pictures or videos to make your post stand out.
Rule 2. Keep it snappy
The longer your hashtag is, the less likely someone will search for it or use it. Make sure you keep your hashtag simple and to the point, and perhaps try searching for which ones are being used by similar accounts before you use them. Making hashtags too long can make them lose their impact or mean you won’t be taken seriously by other users. #ifitstoolongpeoplewilljustthinkyoudontknowwhatyouaretryingtosay
Rule 3. Quality over quantity
You don’t #want to be #one of #those #people that #hashtag every #word – Do you? Not only is this annoying for people to read, it defeats the point of the hashtag. While there is no limit to how many you use in a post, don’t be afraid to just use one or two hashtags in your post that are relevant to the message as a whole or to the account you are posting from. Quality over quantity is key.
Now the three unwritten rules of the hashtag have finally been written, you can use the symbol with #confidence!