#RightAsRain” is a hashtag – RightAsRain” is not a hashtag.

A hashtag is simply a # sign followed by sensible words.  It’s a digital tool used to organize, filter, and advertise a thought. The hashtag itself isn’t the message, it’s only a tool that allows other people to share the message.

Understanding how hashtags work, you can greatly increase the odds that your ad campaigns on hashtag-friendly platforms will be seen by the search engines actually be served in search inquiry results. I’ve added a list below to help clear up any confusion about how hashtags work.

TGTips Happy Thought1. Make your hashtag Informative and relative to the subject matter.  People won’t respond to hashtags they don’t understand.

2. If a hashtag can be misread, it will be.  Proofread thinking like a 10-year-old. The classic example of this is the 2012 hashtag campaign to launch a new Susan Boyle album using #susanalbumparty.

3. No one owns a hashtag. By definition, hashtags can be created and used by anyone so it’s all to easy for them to spin out of control as marketing messages. It’s always good to test a hashtag before heavily marketing it, and equally important to have an alternative hashtag plan.

4. Most search engines are now indexing hashtags. So, incorporate hashtags into other channels. It works. By incorporating your hashtags into your traditional media and online campaigns, you’ll be able to brand the hashtag’s core idea more clearly with your customers.

5. Live tweet during big events. One of the most effective ways of using hashtags is to live tweet from your company Twitter account during a major event. DiGiorno Pizza captured plenty of attention in 2013 when it began live tweeting event commentary during the #TheSoundOfMusicLive event.

6. Keep it short. The longer the hashtag, the more hassle it is to use, understand, and follow.  Limit yourself to three hashtags per tweet, don’t overdo them.

7. Monitor a hashtag conversation is an extremely effective means of keeping track of the “tag” trends.  You can gain insight into what your competition is doing, what the influencers are saying, and how customers are reacting.

8. If you can use a hashtag in place of a word without the sentence becoming confusing, do it.  “Having a great time at TAG! #TAG2017” is grammatically correct, but it’s no more effective than “Having a blast at #TAG2017!” which gets the point across in fewer words.

TGTips Do Not Go There9. Capitalize multi-word hashtags for clarity. The longer the hashtag, the more likely the message is to be misread.

10. Stay away from banned hashtags.  A poorly proofed hashtag can easily trip these filters, resulting in content that doesn’t reach the audience. Some sites, like Instagram, filter out popular or generic hashtags like #iphone and #popular to avoid flooding cyberspace with irrelevant posts.