#MediaMonday – Joe Ferguson
January 11, 2016
Benefits of Media Relations
January 13, 2016
Show all
Rules for Hashtags

Rules for Hashtags

Earlier this week, David Landis, our Public Relations Global Network (PRGN) partner in San Francisco shared a post from Guerrilla Marketing on Twitter titled 5 Hashtag Etiquette Rules For Social Media Marketing. Those of you who know me and/or read my blog posts regularly (I Literally HEART Twitter, Twitter tip #1,  Tip #2 and #3 and Tip #4) understand that Twitter is my favorite digital communications tool, so of course I had to read this blog post immediately.

The blog post gives the following five #HashtagRules (and a quick overview):

Focus on the Few – Assign one hashtag for the campaign. Using too many hashtags will dilute the message. I absolutely agree with that using too many hashtags can dilute an organization’s key message but sometimes having more than one is appropriate, too. I would suggest using no more than 3 hashtags as appropriate.

Keep it Simple - The main point of this portion is that “There’s nothing worse than a hashtag that’s #UnnecessarilyLongAndDifficultToRead.” Yes- but my exception might be unless you are trying to make point. Not all #hashtags should be long, but they can be used in moderation to make a point. I mean #HowDoYouKeepaKardashianHashtagShort?

Use Smart Keywords - An organization should only use hashtags that are appropriate and don’t use them just because they are trending. I absolutely agree with this and, in fact, wrote an entire blog post on it recently titled May the PR Force Be With You about the Star Wars bandwagon.

Place Them Properly - Use a few select hashtags (which kind of disputes the message in rule number one) within a message and don’t hashtag every word in a Tweet. I would add that that applies to your Twitter bio as well - many times I will not follow someone back if their bio is in all #hashtags, makes it seem like spam.

Proofread Your Hashtags- Misspellings are unprofessional and to triple check before hitting post. Again I agree with this but I think one should check the spelling on everything not just the hashtag! #JustSaying

Overall this was a nice list and here’s a few more I would add:

Easy to remember – Hashtags that are difficult to remember or don’t make sense typically will not succeed. Don’t make someone have to guess to remember the hashtag.

Make it Fun- Have fun with brainstorming and thinking of #hashtags that fit your brand. If you are having fun with it, and that comes out in the post, others will have fun with it as well.

Engage - Lastly don’t just create a hashtag, post it and hope that it works. Have a plan to engage, in a meaningful way, with those that are also using the hashtag. The last thing you want is to have a one-sided conversation.

Are there any other #HashtagRules that you think should be on the list? Let me know!

Rachel Brockway
Rachel Brockway
A former HMA Public Relations employee.


  1. Rachel, thanks for the shout out. I think, like most writing, figuring out a good hashtag adheres to the rules for engaging communication. My fave? KISS (Keep it simple, stupid!) Keep engaging! Cheers, David

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *