When Twitter introduced hashtags as a way of searching tweets by topic, did it realize hashtag over-usage would become a bit of a social joke? How many hashtags are too many to use in one post? Hashtag haters say to use none; in fact rumors surfaced in March that Twitter was considering removing hashtags altogether. However, for brands trying to get attention, sometimes hashtags are essential—and hashtags have been part of some very successful social media campaigns. The key is not to overdo it. The social media analysts at Socialbakers looked at hashtags in branded Facebook posts for one month and found that as the number of hashtags went up, interaction with consumers went down. Posts with one to two hashtags got the most interaction. But don’t rely on someone else’s numbers—focus on what works for your small business. The key is to read the signs provided by your social media analytics. Has a campaign done better when you use hashtags or worse? Let those numbers be your guide.
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Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva, and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.