No, “Hashtag Hell” is not a place. But, it could be. If Twilight Zone was on-air I could see an episode where instead of words, all citizens only talked in hashtags. #HashtagHi #HashtagDavid #HashtagHow #HashtagAre #HashtagYou? Believe it or not, we’re closer than you think to destroy the English language. But, I digress. This blog post isn’t meant to be a lesson on why we need to get back into talking in full sentences. It’s about how I got out of hashtag hell by convincing clients to use them correctly. At 10 years of hashtags, we’re still offering up advice for marketing and PR pros on the most effective use. But, what we’re not talking about is perspective.

Trending hashtags matter, if they are relevant to your tweet/campaign

Sure, #BlackLivesMatter #FollowFriday #IceBucketChallenge – catch my drift? Those three hashtags, according to the blog post cited in the link above, are among the top 10 ever used. Two out of three are based upon wildly popular guerilla marketing campaigns, and the third was a brilliant idea by my friend Micah Baldwin. The point? They’ve all trended, and are trending. Are they relevant to your tweet or campaign, if such relevance exists? If it doesn’t, don’t bother using the hashtags, you will be ignored, aka no lift and no conversions. No activation.

Don’t try to create your own hashtag, unless you’re the Denver Broncos

#BroncosCountry was a huge hit. And of course you are not surprised. Big brands have a terrific advantage when it comes to creating a hashtag to build community. That was covered in the PR News Daily article, but I had to point out that not just anyone can create a unique hashtag and expect a lift. Companies that are not major brands and are tweeting #cybersecurity #CIO etc are just wasting characters. Those companies should tie their tweets to trending conferences #RSA2017 or other happenings that are relevant to their businesses instead of fooling themselves to think that any random hashtags will attract eyeballs or new followers on Twitter.

Use hashtags to track your campaigns

I don’t see this often anymore, but creating a hashtag to monitor a campaign can prove to be successful if you’re tweets are newsworthy. When partnering with Apple, salesforce.com or another brand, tweet out your announcement and create a hashtag that allows press, influencers, and followers to retweet and build brand equity by association. You can also use a hashtag to make a point such as when announcing a cyber alert you can use the hashtag for the cyber hack and another hashtag to tie the event back to your company.

And, these are just a few observations, and ideas… All in all, when I’m tasked to add hashtags to clients’ tweets, it’s strategy first, execution second. I’m not tweeting to fill up a stream; I’m tweeting to get audiences to take action. If you need help building and boosting your Twitter strategy, contact us today!