Are you #failing with your #hashtags on #social #media?

Are you #failing with your #hashtags on #social #media?
Social media from cutout newspaper headlines pinned to a cork bulletin board

Hashtags: love them or hate them, they can be a valuable tool for getting your social media posts seen more widely. First gaining popularity on Twitter, they soon became a part of Facebook, too. Now they seem to be everywhere, it’s time to examine at some of the biggest online marketing hashtag #fails.


#Fail #1: The inappropriate hashtag


You sell shoes. You write a blog post about shoe trends. You do not mention puppies in the post at all. When you promote the post on Facebook and Twitter, you add #puppies to the end of your posts, to attract the dog owners you’re sure will love your shoes. This is a pet peeve for a lot of people, and it’s understandable. Hashtags can help with searches on social media, easily delivering content that is on a certain subject. When you use a hashtag that isn’t related to what you’re talking about, you won’t get more views, you’ll just get frustrated people who scroll past your link.


#Fail #2: The overtagger


With 140 characters available in a tweet, 100 of those shouldn’t be hashtags. Even if they are all applicable, it means that the actual content you’re tagging is almost nonexistent. Let your content do most of the talking, and the hashtags help people categorise it.


#Fail #3: Thelongstringofwordsasonetag


To be fair, this is more often seen in personal social media posts, but businesses aren’t immune. Having a long string of words as a tag might seem amusing, but it’s more often just confusing. In the time it takes for somebody to parse the sentence you’ve written without spaces, they could already be on your site making a purchase.


#Fail #4: The inconsistent #brand tag for #branding a #brandname


Hashtags are one of the elements of social media marketing where the old ‘keep it simple, stupid’ adage is very true. If you’re creating a hashtag for your brand’s social media content, make sure you always use the same one. This can help your customers join the conversation, and engage with one another and your brand’s online marketing team. Even if you have to put a sticker on every device with the correct hashtag to use, it’s worth it to keep everyone on message and on hashtag!