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Top 2 Tips to Help You Take the Twitter Plunge

 

Take the plunge

Twitter is a vast and ever-changing social media landscape.

It moves quickly and frequently.

 

All types of people use it, and more importantly, all types of people use it differently. Businesses and corporations don’t use Twitter the same way that the average person does which can make running a Twitter account seem confusing and complicated, especially for those who don’t already have a personal account.

Here are some simple points to remember that can make a Twitter account much easier and less daunting.

There are a lot of different tips and tricks to running Twitter accounts, for both personal and professional use, because everyone handles (no pun intended) their own Twitter experience differently. Some people tweet hourly while others are perfectly content to tweet just once a day or even less.

Which is why the first point on this list, for business and personal use, is to JUST DO IT. Spending hours agonizing over the perfect tweet really just means that those hours are spent not tweeting anything at all. Does that mean it’s silly to check tweets for typos or mistakes before hitting that Tweet button? Of course not. (Especially those hashtags #whichcanjustgetsolongandhardtoread!) But don’t let the fear of tweeting something silly or dumb prevent you from tweeting at all.

The second point on this list is geared specifically toward businesses, but can be helpful for anyone, which is check your hashtag BEFORE you use it. This is really just a simple search on Twitter of the hashtag you want to start using. Why? Because if it’s a hashtag that you want your followers to use to be able to connect with you or a hashtag that you want your followers to use so that you can connect with them, you want to be sure that no one or nothing else that you don’t want to be associated with has used the same hashtag.

Share your aha or oh-no Twitter moments.

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Is Your Hashtag Showing?

Is Your Hashtag Showing?Is it an octothorpe, a pound sign, or a hashtag? No matter what you call the # symbol, using hashtags in social media is a widespread practice. Some people love using them, but it seems that they have forgotten the point of using them. There are also plenty of haters. Linguistics experts, such as UC Berkeley’s Geoffrey Nunberg, say that the use of “hashtags is lazy and reduces the irony in communication.”

Whether you love them or hate them, it has become clear that tags are here to stay. Here’s a rundown on avoiding epic fails and some no-nonsense tips for using tags in social media.

In the Beginning

The word “hashtag” officially became a word according the Oxford English Dictionary in June of this year. Microsoft Word, on the other hand, does not believe it. I’ve read a couple of versions about the birth of the hashtag, but the generally accepted version, is that an Google employee, Chris Messina, invented the use of hashtags in 2007 as a way to organize messages into groups. If you knew the hashtag, you were in the know: an insider.

Today, hashtag use is an evolving practice and no longer limited to just Twitter. Most of the major social media platforms support some use of hashtags. Facebook came late to the game and finally added hashtag functionality in 2013 to capture marketing dollars tied to hashtags.

Hashtags allow people to share ideas, sentiments, or to promote something specific.

Avoid Epic Fails

Sometimes companies and marketers completely miss the mark and hashtag fails occur. One epic “fail” occured when Susan Boyle released an album in 2012. Her PR folks created the infamous #susanalbumparty tag to promote the album; it released a media frenzy and a slew of crude and unflattering posts.

To avoid fails when using hashtags do your homework first. Research the tag (hashtags.org is a good source) to identify any potential damage to your message. Share it with others just for a sanity check.

Mind Your Manners

Sometimes hashtags don’t fail but how they are used is just plain ugly. Some people love them so much every word in a post includes a hashtag. Excessive use of hashtags in social media is a newbie mistake. Tagging every word does not add to the social media conversation. Use them to call out your carefully thought-out keywords, specific ideas, or to promote campaigns and events.

Another ugly use of hashtags (a personal pet peeve) is making them extremely long. Tags should be easy to read; nothing is better than when they are short and sweet. Besides, no one is going to remember that drawn-out sentence and in Twitter they take up too much real estate.

No-nonsense Tips

1.   Research your tags.

2.   Stay within the one to three range in a single post.

3.   Make them short and sweet.

4.   Be specific and authentic.

5.   Add to the conversation.

Whether you are a small business owner or social media maverick, using hashtags is a pivotal part of your communication work. Don’t feel intimated by hashtag critics; take a look at their Twitter feeds. They too are tagging just as much as the rest of us. Yes, even Geoffrey Nunberg’s feed is littered with hashtags.

Share your hashtag pet peeve or your favorite tip.