Twitter Hashtag Mistakes

3 Twitter Hashtag Mistakes That Make You Look Like a Noob

Hashtag Abuse Comic

Many tweeps who use hashtags don’t fully understand how to properly use them.

Just in case someone doesn’t know what a hashtag is, let’s see one of the possible definitions provided by Twitter itself:

“People use the hashtag symbol # before a relevant keyword or phrase (no spaces) in their Tweet to categorize those Tweets and help them show more easily in Twitter Search.”

As an upfront bonus for reading this article, before showcasing the mistakes let me tell you a secret the majority of tweeps don’t know…

If your tweet already includes relevant keywords, you don’t need to add hashtags for your tweet to appear in search. Click here to tweet it!

Surprised? Make a search and see! Therefore a tweet for this blog post doesn’t need the hashtag symbol before the word Twitter. When someone searches for the keyword Twitter, the tweet will appear in search anyway. Adding a relevant phrase that doesn’t appear in the title (such as “Twitter Tips”) is the best use for the hashtag feature:

#TwitterTips: 3 Twitter Hashtag Mistakes That Make You Look Like a Noob

Now let’s see the biggest hashtag mistakes…

Noob Mistake # 1: Hashtags Irrelevant to the Topic of the Tweet

Twitter Mistake: Irrelevant Hashtag

Have you noticed the mistake from the image above?

What is that tweet about? Blogging and images in blog posts. Right? Then for Christ’s sake, what is the hashtag #World for? Is it there in order for that tweet to appear in search when someone searches for “world”?

First of all, I doubt that someone will search for “world”. But even if someone makes that search, that tweet will be irrelevant and the person who made that search will not take it into consideration anyway. Therefore why wasting extra space for no reason?

Noob Mistake # 2: Lots of Hashtags

Twitter Mistake: Lots of Hashtags

Hashtag spamming is the biggest and the most frequent mistake made by newbies. Do you know why is that wrong?

Let me quote from Twitter Help Center:

Don’t #spam #with #hashtags. Don’t over-tag a single Tweet. (Best practices recommend using no more than 2 hashtags per Tweet.)

Will Twitter delete your account for such hashtag spamming? I don’t know. What I know for sure is that many tweeps will not follow you if you tweet like that. There is no reason for hashtag spamming. There’s no advantage. Don’t do it!

Noob Mistake # 3: Being Redundant

Twitter Mistake: Being Redundant

Another common mistake is posting a tweet that includes a hashtag of a word already mentioned earlier in the tweet.

Better usage:

9 WordPress Plugins You Should Install If You Just Started #Blogging link

Whether the search is for “blogging” or “#blogging”, the tweet will appear in search. There’s no point in wasting extra space and being redundant.

Even better:

9 WordPress Plugins You Should Install If You Just Started Blogging link #BloggingTips

9 WordPress Plugins You Should Install If You Just Started Blogging link #Blogging101

Instead of repeating the same word, it’s possible to increase the reach of a tweet by adding additional pieces of information not included in the main wording.

To Your Social Media Success!
Adrian Jock

P.S. Did I miss any hashtag major mistake? Feel free to let me know using the comment section below ;-)

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22 thoughts on “3 Twitter Hashtag Mistakes That Make You Look Like a Noob

  1. Hi Gilbert, I just found your comments marked as spam :-(

    Regarding your question… well, not everything that is possible to be done is OK. If you can add 10 hashtags for 10 words is that OK just because the 140 characters limit permits that?

    On the other hand, if you think that being redundant is something good… what can I say? Let me repeat the last phrase for 10 times here. I have enough space ;-)

    As for avoiding the distraction… I don’t get your point. When you see an interesting headline in a tweet do you suddenly click on hashtags if they aren’t placed after the link? LOL

    Finally, when you draft a tweet you have to think that it may be retweeted for multiple times. You don’t have to use all 140 characters unless you don’t want retweets ;-)

  2. Hi Adrian,
    I also noticed that people make these mistakes. Even I made them in the past. :( The most common mistake that I’ve noticed is #3.

    Some research studies show that tweets shouldn’t be too long. As I remember based on these studies tweets should be in 60 – 80 characters range, and that’s just enough space to write an attention grabbing title.

    Thanks for the explanation on how to use hashtags properly, Adrian! :)

  3. Hi Branko, thanks for stopping by.

    In the past I’ve made mistakes quite similar to #3. When we make mistakes we prove that we’re human beings, not gods. That’s not a tragedy after all… ;-) What matters is to understand our mistakes, correct them and not repeat them anymore :-)

  4. Hi Arbaz,

    Thank you for your comment. I’m glad that you found the post useful. Please note that mistake #2 is the most annoying out of the 3 showcased here. It screams newbie and/or spam. If you want more quality followers you shouldn’t just “try to be more careful”. Be more careful! And forget about the word “maybe” ;-)

  5. Hi Adrian,

    In addition to what you’ve written, I will offer a couple of points here.

    1) One of my hashtags is #BeLoveToOthers
    I also on occasion use small letters, which treats it as an independent hashtag. This is fine for my purposes, but let’s look at a different example.

    Let’s say you put out a hashtag #AdriansPlace to establish a meeting of business associates.

    If they type it wrong, (without the Capital Letters) and put #adriansplace,your associates may end up at a different place or get in with the wrong people.

    2) Let’s say you are a business owner, that you run a gym in Boston offering strength training.

    You decide to put out a tweet using #BostonStrong and #bostonstrong, not knowing that the hashtag thread is being used in relation to the Boston marathon tragedy.

    A sales pitch in that thread would not only look out of place, but would definitely not be appreciated by anyone.

    It is prudent to take an extra few minutes to research the #Discover tool within Twitter to ensure a mistake like this is not made.

    Hope this helps as well.

    Kind Regards,
    Bill
    William Butler recently posted…Birthday Dedication: A Celebration Of LifeMy Profile

  6. Hi Bill,

    Thank you for your comment :)

    Not using capital letters in hashtags isn’t that good. It’s harder to read (when there are more words) and it may lead to confusions. There are some epic failures in the industry and the most famous is #susanalbumparty. A nice one is #hobbitch which was supposed to be a hashtag for Hobbit (the movie) and CH (Switzerland country code) :-)

  7. Hi Ana Maria,

    Thank you for your comment. It applies everywhere, it’s not related to a certain social media platform. After all… it’s about the users’ feelings, not about the name of the platform. Hashtag overuse is annoying. On Facebook you can even find pages like this one: Stop The Overuse Of Hashtags ;-)

  8. Hi Adrian,

    I understand the fact that only two hashtags per tweet is optimum, what about facebook, and google plus?

    This the word count is not limited to 140 but 2000, what will be the optimum way to manage hash tags on these platforms?

    Piyush

  9. Hi Piyush,

    There is no connection between the optimum number of hashtags and the word count. It’s about being annoying or not ;-)

    For example, right here I have tons of space. It’s my blog after all, isn’t it? What do you think if right now I start writing tons of keywords instead of answering your question? Isn’t that annoying?

    See the point? It’s not about the space limitation. It’s like screaming in real life… You can do it at any time. In most of the cases there’s no physical limit. Technically you can do it without any problem LOL But it’s not good, it’s not social, it’s annoying.

    For any social media platform it’s the same. Limit yourself to posting a few hashtags and you won’t annoy anyone.

  10. I see what you mean, if we use many hashtags then its pure “visual noise”. I have seen it on twitter.

    There are so many people just spamming away with just hash tags, and has absolutely no meaning to it.

    It almost made me feel like i was being choked!

    I suppose we have to find our own design when we are using hashtags on social media, right?

  11. Exactly, that’s visual noise. We have to find out a common way that it’s good both for us and our followers & friends. That means to be social :)

    In your own house, when you’re alone, you can do whatever you want unless you don’t disturb your neighbors. But once you step out, you have to be sure that you don’t annoy the others. Otherwise everyone will try to avoid you.

  12. Very good article, Adrian. The good thing is that most of us have been newbies once and have made similar, if not exact, mistakes, especially that of Adding Lots of Hashtags, :)

    At least now other newbies got this article to show them what not to do.

    Thanks to Piyush Mathur for sharing this on Kingged.com, the Internet marketing social bookmarking and networking website where I found this and “kingged” it for its usefulness.
    Sunny recently posted…How to Get a Blog GoingMy Profile

  13. Hi Sunny,

    Thank you for your comment. None of us was born an expert, but even experts make mistakes from time to time. We are human beings, aren’t we? What is important is to correct our mistakes and learn the lesson :-)

    I told Piyush that I’ll check Kingged, but unfortunately for the moment I was very busy and I didn’t have time to do it. But it’s still on my to do list :-)

  14. Hi, Adrian, I’ve seen this recommended and it makes sense adding at the end extra hashtags (like #BloggingTips) that don’t occur in the text naturally.

    But if you’re using all the characters (or you’re leaving extra space as some people recommend) shouldn’t you be trying to get your search-worthy terms within the text? I know I don’t often have the luxury of a dozen or so characters to add another search-term at the end.

    Hashtags make a search possible from the Tweet itself, that seems to be their only function. And they definitely make the terms stand out. I suppose if you just wanted your Tweet to come up in searches you wouldn’t need to put a hashtag in front of BloggingTips whether it’s within the text or at the end?

  15. Hi Donald,

    1) Using all 140 characters isn’t good. That’s why people recommend that extra space. But let’s not follow blindly some tips.

    I do this: when I draft the tweet, I make sure that the headline + the link = maximum 140 – (RT @myusername). So there’s extra space, right? Then I fill in that extra space with one or two relevant hashtags.

    When someone wants to reshare that tweet, that person may remove one or both hashtags and use the extra space.

    The purpose of the extra space is to let someone add something without altering the headline and the text.

    2) I have already explained you here that I don’t like very much to add hashtags within the text, and I also explained you why. Didn’t I? ;)

    3) It’s not true that the only function of the hashtags is to make a search possible. Here’s another usage: Twitter Chats. If you’re not familiar with the term, search on Google and you’ll find a lot of info.
    Adrian Jock recently posted…Never Put a Dot in Front of a Tweet. Not Even in That Case ;)My Profile

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