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Hashtagging Crash Course

Nov 1

I have no doubts that someone on the KWSM team has already covered this topic. Heck, I’m sure we’ve even written about it three, four, or ten times. But judging by how often I witness people abusing the living daylights out of hashtags, I feel that revisiting this topic every once in a while would be beneficial to just about everybody.

What is a hashtag?

A hashtag is a pound sign (“#”) followed by a word or a phrase.

What does it do?

People attach hashtags to their tweets in order to categorize their messages. Hashtags help tweets show up better in universal Twitter searches, and can improve audience targeting for individual tweets. In theory, hashtags are used to improve Twitter SEO.

Which hashtags should I use?

Think about actual terms and phrases that people search for. You want your hashtags to be relevant and specific–Don’t use anything too elusive or vague.  The goal is to come up in people’s searches.  For example, if I were to hashtag a tweet about this blog, I’d probably use #socialmedia, #hashtagging, #twittertips, etc.

How many hashtags should I use?

I’d probably keep it to no more than 5. After that, it looks obnoxious, like you’re trying too hard to garner attention. Also, why would you want your hashtags to be longer than your actual tweet?

Do hashtags work on Facebook?


Why do people use really long phrases and random sayings as hashtags?

Sadly, because they’ve forsaken the entire point of a hashtag. Hashtagging has devolved, instead becoming a way for people to try their hand at wit by condensing their oh-so-clever thoughts into a run on sentence, prefixed by a pound sign. Is it humorous? In some cases, yes. Is it effective for your twitter SEO? Very likely not.


So there it is. Hashtagging 101. Have more questions? We would be more than happy to help you understand and better utilize hashtags!








Chau is a Content Editor at Katie Wagner Social Media. With a degree in Literary Journalism, Chau’s experience includes reporting, copywriting, technical writing and narrative non-fiction.

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1 Comment to “Hashtagging Crash Course”

  1. If you missed the pirueovs posts, you can read and watch the videos here: Part 1: Using a Hashtag, Part 2: How to Know When to Use a Hashtag, and Part 3: Trending Topics and Thought Leadership with

    Dec 18, 2012

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