Social media etiquette: 5 golden rules on using hashtag

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Dec 07, 2015 06:00 AM EST

Well, it is not like you'd be blackballed and put into some solitary confinement at some distant and far-flung portion of the Twitterverse if you break some of these social media etiquettes. After all, these are just mere formalities on proper conduct and not some strict protocols to follow. But, it also pays to exhibit some social media savoir-faire so people won't mistook you as some douche or despicable guy online, or to avoid losing some followers.

Yeah, that sounds a bit harsh, but I got your attention anyway, so here are some golden rules on using hashtag you might want to adhere on. 

1. Know more about hashtagging

Well, for one, it sounds nonsensical if you keep on doing something you do not have a full grasp on. It is important, therefore, to understand how hashtags work. There are some basic rules that users should know firsthand in order to not qualify as a hashtag dummy.

For instance, one should learn that punctuations are not allowed, or that spacing won't work either because only the first word will be counted, wrote Buzzle. It is also imperative to differentiate between # tag and @ tag because it makes all the difference in the world.

2. #Oh #please #don't #use #too #many #hashtags

If that subheading looks utterly annoying or it just simply doesn't add up, well, you pretty much get the point. The Twitter team recommends using a max of two hashtags per post.

3. Make your choice of hashtag on point

Using a hashtag that has no relevance to your subject goes against the true purpose of using hashtags. It loses the significance of your hashtag and it can really confuse other people. Worst, you can be identified as a hashtag hijacker who uses popular hashtags completely unrelated to their subject as a click bait. That is some form of spamming, or douchery as PostPlanner would like to refer to it.

4. Give your choice of hashtag words a little thought

It is really important to think of the right way to write your hashtag. Pagemodo offers a clever, not to mention amusing, example for this one. Imagine, using #NowThatchersDead when the British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher passed away. The hashtag makes sense until some lazy user decides to do without the capitalization and could end up with (#nowthatchersdead), which some people may think (#NowThatChersDead). Now, we don't want such instances to happen, right.

5. Make it short and simple

Not unless you're using other social media platforms, but Twitter has a limit on the number of characters set at 140 per tweet. And, it doesn't seem right that your hashtags are even longer than what you are trying to convey. Twitter also recommends using hashtags sparingly and respectfully so that they may provide useful context and cues for recall.

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