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To #hashtag or not to #hashtag, that is the question.

With Google’s 16th birthday last month one thing’s for certain, the World Wide Web is not going away anytime soon and therefore neither is its yappy sibling, social media.

Who’s the yappiest of the siblings? Twitter, #obvs and once you’ve ‘logged in’ you’re unlikely to ‘log out’ of the highly addictive Twitterverse .  Whilst Facebook has become unarguably ‘mainstream’ and saturated, Twitter is now gathering momentum in terms of account growth.

Firstly, let’s clear something up; everyone understands common twitter jargon… right?!  Do you know your handle from your #hashtag

Handle – A Twitter handle is a username selected by anyone using Twitter and must contain fewer than 15 characters. Each Twitter handle has a unique url, with the handle added after twitter.com. Example: http://twitter.com/username

#Hashtag – a word or phrase preceded by a hash sign (#), used on social media sites such as Twitter to identify messages on a specific topic


Example: #Blog


Some people still see the ‘#’ symbol as a dusty button on a telephone, my my, how it’s all changed!

What do they do?  In a nutshell, they categorise content on social media and make the data more discoverable to those looking for it.

Why is it important to understand this jargon?  Because using them effectively will help you.

Did you know that tweets with hashtags receive 2x more engagement than those without hashtags?! Okay so ram your tweet with hashtags and receive more engagement… WRONG!   #Avoid #Being #A #HashTag #Spammer! Tweets that use more than two hashtags actually show a 17% drop in engagement.  Get the balance right as tweets with either one or two hashtags have a 21% higher engagement rate than those with three or more.

Did you also know that tweets with one or more hashtags are 55% more likely to be retweeted than those without?

To summarise I have four simple steps and a golden rule to set you on your hashtagging way

  1. Be specific – make sure it’s super relevant to your conversation; a generic hashtag won’t get you the traction you deserve.
  2. Tweet your beat – keep it relevant and regular.
  3. Don’t #Spam #with #hashtags – for the aforementioned reasons.
  4. Create your own hashtag – it can’t have been used before and remember to promote it, keep it informative but short.

And the golden rule… always double check the meaning first!



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