The Seven Deadly Hashtag Sins

A picture of a hashtag on a tombstone
Your hashtag use could be a dead end for your social media campaign if you're committing these seven deadly sins.. Photo © Richard Goerg / Getty Images

Hashtags have become an effective way to promote your company and gain new followers. Out of their popularity has come some bad habits, though. Make sure you're not misusing hashtags and committing these seven deadly hashtag sins: 

Hashtag Sin #1: Not Branding Your Hashtag

One of the most common deadly hashtag sins is to ignore the branding side of hashtags. Creating a buzzworthy hashtag can be crucial to building your brand through social media.

Do more than type the pound sign and some random words after it for your social media campaign to be successful. Take the time to develop a hashtag that gets noticed, gets used and gets more exposure for your company.

Hashtag Sin #2: Using Your Hashtag Sporadically

Now that you've worked hard on developing your hashtag as a branding tool, what good is it if you don't use it very often? Think of your hashtag like your slogan for social media. You want to use it regularly because if you're not, why should your audience? Make hashtags a powerful rule to live by in your social media strategy. 

Hashtag Sin #3: Jumping on the Hashtag Bandwagon

It's okay to watch trending hashtags. It's a great idea, actually. But jumping into the conversation just to tweet something irrelevant or to promote your own hashtag isn't a good idea. Not only do you annoy other social media users, you won't gain any new followers.

It's a waste of valuable time you or your social media manager could be using somewhere else. 

Hashtag Sin #4: Using More Than Two Hashtags in a Post

Limit your hashtags to one or two per post. When you overload your updates with hashtags, your posts lose their effectiveness. As this social media infographic reveals, updates with one to two hashtags generate the most engagement among social media users as opposed to those updates that have added three or more hashtags.

 

Hasthag Sin #5: Slamming a Bunch of Words Together as a Hashtag

How many times have you seen hashtags like this: 

#ItsBecauseISaidSoThatsWhy 

Hashtags have become a part of our daily conversations but that doesn't mean, as a professional, that you need to weaken your brand and annoy your users by creating nonsense and long hashtags. You want your social media accounts to strengthen your brand, not weaken it. Keep the same standards for your social media accounts as you do your entire business and make sure your social media policy defines what is acceptable and what isn't.

Hashtag Sin #6: Forgetting to Use Your Hashtag on All Social Media Outlets

Hashtags aren't just for one social media outlet anymore. Use them in your tweets, Facebook posts, Google Plus updates, etc. Hashtags expose you and your company to other social media users who may not know you exist. That one post with relevant hashtags can not only engage users but can also gain you new followers. Whether you're pinning media content to your Pinterest boards or uploading content for your YouTube channel, don't forget the hashtags.

 

Hashtag Sin #7: Not Promoting Your Hashtag In Print, Online or On-Air

Don't keep your hashtag to yourself. Promote it on all of your media properties. The more you promote your hashtag, the more you'll see positive results when you track your hashtag's success. Put your hashtag on the pages of your magazine or newspaper, on your website, on the air and even on the company cars you drive. 

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