5 Tips For Hashtag Etiquette

The hashtag. This humble little symbol has gone beyond simply a vague notion of its purpose to becoming one of the most  prevalent and visible icons of the social media age. The hashtag’s become such an ingrained part of our online lives, it’s practically turned into an offline expression in itself. Know someone who can’t help but comment on a situation by saying “hashtag [insert comment here]”? Yeah, that one.

Whether it be on Twitter, Tumblr, or Instagram, the hashtag not only serves to identify a post, but also helps to organize and categorize it in the greater sphere of social-media-dom. It’s helped us see what topics are trending, and helped people from all walks of life chime in on the topic du jour, and allowed the rest of us spectators to enjoy the ride on the undending scrollable list of hashtags.


So, what are the top five ways you can use a hashtag properly? Let’s lay them down for you.

Remember what we said about how hashtags categorize your posts? Well, doing the above faux pas will net you confused readers — what exactly is very “#every” about your post? Or “#your”? And so on. The more confusing your post gets, the more likely readers will move on to a less cluttered post. Use your hashtags sparingly and smartly, and your readers will further appreciate how you do things.

  • #DoNotStringTooManyWordsIntoOneHashtag

While this method can be used for laughs as a sort of side comment (akin to muttering something under your breath or into your hanky), the hashtag becomes way to specific to even be of use. On Tumblr, you’ve often seen hashtags like #IHaveLostTheAbilityToCan or #HelpIveFallenAndICantGetUp — these catchphrases can be great fun in itself as you writhe and squirm helplessly in overwhelming feelings together online. These are fine, as long as they’re not terribly specific or way too personal. The above examples? Yes. “#ThePeanutButterSandwichWasWayTooGummy”? No.

  • Start a conversation by creating a hashtag relevant to the topic

If you follow social media trends, you understand how the right hashtag phrase can help or hinder the trending of a topic. With examples like #MerryChristmasStarbucks, #FieldWorkFails, #AskELJames, and more, this allows people to chime in with their own takes on the topic at hand. A well-thought, witty, and concise hashtag will be one of the best ways to boost your posts. Which brings us to…

  • Do not jump on a trend that isn’t actually relevant to your post #Potato

Don’t you find it annoying when you’re scrolling through a dashboard of statuses for #Fridaythe13th, and out of nowhere, this post that has absolutely nothing to do with the topic pops up? Remember the Golden Rule Reverse: don’t do to others what you don’t want done to you. Just because you’d like some brand visibility doesn’t make it okay to jump on the latest hot hashtag.  If you absolutely must, be ready to insert some cheeky wit and humor into the mix — big brands have been doing that for huge events for years, and your readers will certainly  appreciate the wit and humor you injected into the post.

  • Use propar spellang for a #Hsahatg

Often, a finely-crafted tweet will go to waste, floundering in the oblivion of non-socialness with the only flaw of a misspelled hashtag. #FellTheBarn might earn you a few confused comments (and perhaps some uneasy jokes on barn-raising or arson — which we hope will not come to that, trust us), but #FeelTheBern will land you right in the happy company of like-minded political peers.


photo credit: misspixels; Ace of Hashtags via photopin (license)
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Kokou Adzo

Kokou Adzo is a seasoned professional with a strong background in growth strategies and editorial responsibilities. Kokou has been instrumental in driving companies' expansion and fortifying their market presence. His academic credentials underscore his expertise; having studied Communication at the Università degli Studi di Siena (Italy), he later honed his skills in growth hacking at the Growth Tribe Academy (Amsterdam).


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