How NOT to use hashtags

If you are of the belief that there is no such thing as bad publicity, then please read on – this article is for you.

Hashtags can be a very effective way to reach Twitter users, well beyond your actual network of followers. They provide a quick reference and an easy way to provide some context to your tweets. And if used improperly, they can generate a lot of negative publicity for you and your organization at very little cost. Here’s how you can achieve that.

Why search for existing and useful hashtags when you can just make up your own?

We all know that research is for nerds and newbies. Why go through the time and trouble of looking if there are already hashtags being used effectively that you could attach your Twitter campaign to? Creating a hashtag is so easy! Just type # followed by anything you think is really clever and voila! Your very own hashtag that no one knows about! So whatever you do, DO NOT:

  • Go to http://hashtags.org/ to look up relevant hashtags for your industry, service, or product!
  • Search Twitter for relevant hashtags, trending hashtags, or any other hashtag that other people are using (be original-don’t follow the herd!)

Creative is as creative does!
Everyone enjoys a clever turn of phrase so go ahead and be REALLY creative!

  • extra long hashtags will get people’s attention and get your tweets noticed. Sure, they take up a huge part of your 140 characters and practically ensure no one will be able to retweet you properly, but that’s a small price to pay for originality! I recommend using your full organizational name. For example #ministryofsmallgadgetsthatareoverregulated
  • make your hashtags obscure and mysterious. This will get people curious about your product. Something like #secretgovmeeting will really draw crowds!

More is always better
If one hashtag is good, two is better, and why stop at three?

  • How to #Boost your #Business With #Social #Media #Madness (link) #marketing #your community #your industry

Adjective add color
Use adjectives liberally to emphasize your messages. Think cheesy advertisements!

  • New Government program #Amazing #oneofakind #Opportunity! #Unbelievable results! #Guaranteed Returns

Relevance, schmellavance!
Why limit yourself to using hashtags that are relevant to your tweet? Nobody owns these things so you should be able to use them however you please. One clever trick is to check out Twitter to see which hashtags are trending and just add those to your tweets.

  • New Government program for small business owners (link) #pizzapockets #tebow #slumberparty #tsunami #Thailandsextours

Controversy Sells!
Another way to create great negative publicity around your tweets is to use hashtags that will prove controversial given your subject matter, for example:

  • Minister Doe trade visit to China (link) #Tiananmen #Foxconn #humanrightsviolations

I hope these few examples will help guide you in the use of hashtags on Twitter or other platforms and wish you the best of luck promoting your tweets.

  • I’ll be looking for you online! #fail #sh(censored)tstorm

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