Hashtags are extremely useful ways of finding and sharing context specific pieces of information on Twitter and beyond. They are becoming more and more prevalent, especially when used in conjuction with events such as concerts, exhibitions, conferences and live online chats. They are a means of highlighting subject-related information and increasing the likelihood of someone seeing a status update and making connections.
Hashtags are ephemeral, they can be created by anyone for any purpose at any moment in time. All that is required is to place a # before a word or alphanumeric string without a space between them: #hashtag This will enable tools and platforms like Twitter and many more to treat the word as a link and perform a search query for that #hashtag when it is clicked.
These are my top five tips for creating a usable hashtag:
- Keep it short! Between 4 to 9 characters is the optimum range for a balance between brevity and meaning
- Use numbers in numeric format, e.g. #SGS2
- Search for existing usage
- Search Twitter and/or #tagdef to check for current definitions and existing hashtags
- Google for general conflicts and potentially embarrassing meanings in other languages
- Avoid using a hashtag that is already in use or has negative connotations
Do you know of any other key tips that would be useful to consider when creating a #hashtag?