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What You Need To Know About Hashjacking

What You Need to Know About Hashjacking

The hashtag is a powerful tool in your social media arsenal.

It’s a great way to tag your posts and tweets with keywords that then make it easier for social networks to organize your posts. Hashtags also make it infinitely easier for those people searching for information to find you.

In this article, we’re going to look at a term called hashjacking.

According to the Urban Dictionary, Hashjacking is when somebody else “jacks” yours or someone else’s hashtag to promote their own social media page or product.

Here’s what you need to know about hashjacking.

Why Hashjacking?

When businesses use hashtags that have no relation to their content or their company, it’s hashjacking.

Businesses who just want to be found in popular searches without any regard to whether their content has anything to do with the hashtag or not are hashjacking.

Hashjacking is not something we recommend. Why?

You don’t help your own business by using an irrelevant hashtag in your posts and tweets. You’ll just irritate your customers and hurt your business.

To help you understand why hashjacking isn’t good for your business, consider this scenario:

Let’s say you are searching for a hot tub. You decide to search for the hashtag #hottubbing. What you find is a bunch of posts that are promoting products and services that have nothing to do with buying a hot tub.

You are not going to look at their content, and you might even go so far as to steer clear of these companies because you can see through their ploy.

Another example of the hashtag gone wrong is when people hashjack without looking up the hashtag first. It could be a disaster, private event, or something off-putting to their customers.

Again, they’ve hurt their business.

The other downside of hashjacking is that it’s just not respectable. It’s basically spamming when you throw in hashtags that have nothing to do with your content, just to get it viewed.

For example, if you used the hashtag #beyonce just to get your content into as many streams as possible, you aren’t doing anyone a favor.

People just may remember that you participated in hashjacking and boycott your business.

How to Use Hashtags

To use a hashtag in your social media posts, just add the # sign before a single word or phrase without spaces or punctuation. You can use numbers.

Check out this basic list of dos’ when it comes to using hashtags and avoiding hashjacking:

  • Don’t use too many words in your hashtag. You’ll only frustrate readers, and you won’t gain the brand recognition you’re looking for.
  • When you use a hashtag, note that anyone searching for that hashtag will find your post or tweet.
  • Don’t over use hashtags in your tweet. Spamming a post or tweet is annoying at best. Stick to one hashtag per post on Facebook. When using Twitter or Instagram, it’s generally okay to use more, but don’t use more than five. In other words, don’t over hashtag a post or tweet.
  • Only use hashtags that are relevant to your topic.

What Kinds of Hashtags Work?

You have so many choices when it comes to hashtags. Check out a few examples:

  • Daily hashtags such as #MotivationMonday or #TransformationTuesday are always a good bet.
  • Geographical or local hashtags work for many businesses.
  • Your own name as a hashtag is good branding.
  • Try holiday hashtags.
  • Use event-specific hashtags to highlight your event.
  • Consider industry hashtags as well.

Just remember to research them first.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know about hashjacking, we encourage you not to do it.

When using hashtags, do your research. Look up the hashtag and see what you find before using it. This is your best chance at using the right hashtag at the right time.

Engage your customers with a social media marketing strategy that drives growth. If you’d like help crafting posts that persuade and engage, we can help. We’ll provide customer-focused and engaging posts that encourage trust and a connection with your business.

We are here for you when it comes to your social media posting. We’ll study your brand, and create posts that work with your overall social media posting strategy. Learn more about our services and how we can create engaging content that your customers will enjoy and appreciate.

Image: quinn.anya via /  CC BY-SA