Are You Using Too Many Hashtags?

Social Media ImageHashtags are a fantastic invention of the Social Media Marketing (SMM) world. Instantly have your updates linked to a several other posts with the same tag, so readers can be easily targeted based on a certain interests.

Many businesses believe that placing as many hashtags as possible into a post, is a good idea. However research has shown that this is not the case. In fact, having three or more hashtags in a tweet can lead to a significant drop in your interaction rate. You are better off not placing any hashtags in a tweet than putting in three.

The general rule of thumb is simply that if you wish to engage with your audience – you should use no more than two hashtags. The statistics speak for themselves. One or two relevant hashtags mean that your business can have a 21% increase in interaction, whereas a tweet with three hashtags will have 17% lower interaction than one that containsnone.

Too Many Words or Letters in Hashtags?

This doesn’t stop a number of businesses out there who attempt to buck the trend. However, the result is often the same. If someone saw this on their Twitter stream they are unlikely to interact with it:

 

A really bad example

A really bad example

To start with the above just looks like it came out of a spam machine. Another point is that despite the message that it carries – which is pretty important – it is hard to read in its current form. In fact, having too many words or letters in a hashtag can make the whole message flawed.

I will admit that the above example is an exaggeration for most companies. But take this example that has been previously posted (identifiable content has been blacked out):

A bad tweet for hashtags posting in February

A bad tweet for hashtags posting in February

“…more people searching for them”

This example brings up two different types of problems. The first was that there were too many hashtags. Although they were relevant to the conversation, those three being the answers available in their quiz, the three hashtags just look too promotional at the end.

Another consideration that could have been made was their target audience. This post was aimed for those who work from home or freelancers. Yet there is no mention of them here. Yet the hashtag #freelancer is a particularly good one to search for. To compare them – at the time of writing this, #homeoffice had 4 posts in the past hour, #ownoffice had none in the past three days and #sharedoffice had only 3 in the past 24 hours: none in the past hour.

In contrast #freelancer had 21 tweets in 1 hour and #workfromhome (another good target) had 22 tweets in the past hour. Even though these are popular, and therefore the company would have had more competition in getting their post seen, there are more people searching for them.

Therefore a good tweet for the above campaign might have been:

An example of a good tweet in this example

An example of a good tweet in this example

This tweet benefits from several of the best practices of tweeting, including:

  1. Only using two hashtags.
  2. It targets relevant and highly searched for hashtags.
  3. Character count is under 100 and over 80.
  4. It asks the audience to retweet.
  5. It asks a question – so people can engage with it.

So next time you are writing a tweet, consider if you are using the best practices that will drive consumers to your website and not discard your brand.

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“Image courtesy of digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”

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