5 Frequently Asked Questions about Hashtags

hashtag-frequently-asked-questionsTwitter is a powerful tool for connecting with your audience. One of the most important features it offers is that of the hashtag. We’ve written about hashtags previously but after recent conversations with clients, I think it’s worth revisiting. Since hashtags are now prevalent on Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, and Facebook, in addition to Twitter, it’s important to understand just how powerful and easy to use they can be.

Clients have explained in the past that Twitter is hard for them to grasp. I understand this sentiment. Joining Twitter is like learning a new language. One of the hardest elements to grasp is that of the hashtag. These hashtag questions extend to many platforms but somehow always start when the subject of Twitter comes up.

Here are a few questions we hear frequently:

  1. What does a hashtag do? A hashtag provides an easy way to know what a tweet is about. It also helps you to be found in search – or allows you to find others interested in a particular topic. By searching a hashtag, for example #runchat, you can find a number of other people who are also interested in running.
  2. How do I make a hashtag? To make a hashtag, simply type # and enter the characters you want in your hashtag. It’s important to note that a hashtag will end when you use a space or punctuation character. So you cannot use #Hashtag Questions or #Kristin’sHashtag effectively. Instead those would be created by typing #HashtagQuestions or #KristinsHashtag. Other than those guidelines, there are no limits to what you can make into a hashtag.
  3. How do I know which hashtags to use? There’s no official “dictionary” that outlines which hashtags you can use. To start, use hashtags that are relevant to your topic and/or regional location.
  4. How many hashtags should I use? We typically recommend people don’t use more than two hashtags in a tweet. Furthermore, you don’t need to use hashtags in every tweet. Be careful to not use too many hashtags or you risk looking spammy. Hashtags should be a natural complement to your tweet – if you’re stuffing 6 hashtags into every tweet, you’re likely working harder than you have to.
  5. Why do some people use extremely long hashtags? Long hashtags are often just jokes. Any topic or group that really wants regular conversation isn’t going to use a hashtag that takes up a large number of characters. So if you see a really long hashtag #ChancesAreItsJustAJoke.

Hashtags can be powerful ways to expand your reach, search for others in your genre, and find content you’re interested in. Of course, to do any of this you need to know how to use hashtags. Hopefully the above is a good refresher on this tool.

How do you make hashtags work for you?


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