#balance: Using Hashtags without Minimizing Your Message

There’s a fine balance of using pound signs hashtags. It’s a great way to share your content with non-followers and to see how people are sharing an event, but use too many and it can cross into a zone of annoyance.


This isn’t a post about a concrete rule. Rather, I want to share some insights I’ve gleaned from observation and experimentation.


A Way to Categorize

Hashtags originated as a categorization system, and while it went by way of snark over the past few years, it's coming back around. Events, whether physical or digital, have their hashtags, marketing campaigns have theirs, and I mean, is a wedding really a wedding if you don’t have a hashtag?

All these are examples of using hashtags to categorize tweets.


A Way to Curate Content

Content curation definitely sounds like a buzzword, and perhaps it is, but it's still critical for your brand. Hashtags like “marketing” and “ontheblog” are a way for users to add their content into a stream of others to expand their content's reach.


Not only will this method get you in front of more users for your content’s sake, but it will also help grow your community. If a user sees your tweet, checks out your profile, and likes what you have to offer, you just gained another person in your community and network!

A Way to Protect Yourself

Have you seen ads with #Ad or #spon? Those are a way to let followers know that the user was compensated in some way for that post. There are some in depth guidelines for another day and another post, but for now know that this is not a hashtag to ignore. Unless you want the FTC’s attention, that is.


No post about balancing hashtags is over before making one last point: please research your hashtags. It may not relate to anything inappropriate or bad, per say, but taking those few minutes to research your hashtag can help you reach the best audience.

If you’re planning an event, it can also help determine how much interference you may have from other events with similar hashtags.

Now. Take this knowledge and go balance those hashtags to share your stellar content with those beyond your community!

How do you use hashtags as a way of outreach?

Do you see a difference in use among Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram?