Social Media Part 9: All the #Hashtags!

Alt: A hashtag doodle wearing sunglasses struts to a chant of “Sooooo trendyyyy.” A crowd of doodle fans look on adoringly. One says, “Now I’d put THAT in front of words!”

We’ve already talked about all things #Twitter in our social media series. But today, we’re taking a deeper dive into a powerful Twitter feature that we really ❤︎: #hashtags!

Why are hashtags so powerful, you ask? They may seem merely decorative, but they’re actually key to how Twitter curates its content. Hashtags direct users to related topics and events. And when users search a hashtag that you’ve used, they can see your content — even if they’re not following you on Twitter! (Mind: blown.)

So if you want to increase your reach and optimize your Twitter content, use hashtags! Follow these tips to up your hashtag game:

  • Choose relevant hashtags. Sure, using random, popular hashtags might drive a few eyeballs to your post. But if the tag doesn’t fit, you risk disappointing people and losing potential followers. No one wants to search for #HealthLit and find, you know, unicorns.
  • Aim for 2 hashtags max in a single tweet. Research shows that crowding tweets with a million hashtags means less engagement, not more. It gets tiresome quickly — #just #look #how #annoying #it #is #to #read #this. There may be times when it makes sense to use more than 2 (like if you’re participating in a Twitter chat with multiple hashtags), but 2 is a good rule of thumb to prevent hashtag fatigue.
  • Search hashtags before you tweet. Search on Twitter and Google to make sure your hashtags are credible, current, and popular. Tweeting about the #flu? Check which hashtags CDC is using! And searching also helps you make sure your hashtags don’t pull up unintended stuff in the Twitterverse. (Because you really might be surprised by hashtag search results. Like, really surprised. We sure have been.)
  • Capitalize each new word in a hashtag. This helps keep things #EasyToRead in hashtags with multiple words.
  • Check the Twitter trending topics. If you’re looking for hashtag inspo, find out which ones are trending in your area. Just remember: only use hashtags that are relevant to your content!

Now, dear readers, take this #TwitterWisdom out into the world and do great Twitter-related things!

The bottom line: Use relevant hashtags to engage with audiences on Twitter — and get the most out of your #HealthLit tweets.

Tweet about it: Check out @CommunicateHlth’s tips for using #hashtags responsibly in #HealthLit tweets:


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