When hashtags were relegated to Twitter, they were merely important for search and only on that platform. But now that hashtags are everywhere and are used throughout social media platforms, it’s more important than ever to use chamber hashtags in an effective way. Here are a few things you should know before selecting a hashtag that you plan on using for a chamber campaign or event:
Chamber Hashtag Rules to Live (errr Market) By
If you’re selecting a hashtag for a single post–not a campaign or event–there’s less need to follow these tips. But if it’s a hashtag that you want to become known for, here are some suggestions.
- Know what’s out there. Before selecting a hashtag, do a search. Make sure your desired hashtag is not used by something else. There are no laws against using a common hashtag. It will just make searching and sharing more difficult.
- Use caps. In hashtags capitalization rules are nonexistent. However, when you don’t use caps you run into the problem that Susan Boyle from the show Britain’s Got Talent did when she was launching her album. What should’ve been #SusanAlbumParty became the infamous: #Susanalbumparty. Yikes.
- Read. Again, as the PR people representing Susan Boyle learned above, with hashtags you need to read them in all sorts of different contexts. When I worked for the Governor of Ohio, rumor had it that they had a screener for license plate numbers. The computers generate random letter and number combinations for the plates, but the state needed to make sure they didn’t issue anything that would turn heads in the wrong combination. You need to think of your hashtags in the same way.
- Make them catchy. You want people to remember them so think of ways to make them stand out, providing you consider tip #2 and 3.
- Keep them relatively short. Hashtags on sites that have smaller character allowances can really impede the length of the message. When possible, keep them shorter. This can be difficult if your town name is long. You may want to consider using a nickname or abbreviation for your town. Just don’t do what Chester Literary Fest did for its hashtag by shortening Chester to “C” and Literary to “Lit.” Oh dear. That’s a very different kind of fest.
- Beware of the Shang-hai. There are some hashtags that are very tempting to Shang-hai such as #McDoStories. When the famous restaurant rolled that one out asking its customers to share their stories, they did. But they weren’t the kinds of stories that would’ve made their PR department beam with pride. The same fate befell Quantas Airlines.