Last week was my first lesson in Twitterquette and it covered the basics of what is okay to tweet. This week I thought it would be appropriate to discuss hashtags, and how to use them without stepping on any toes.
I will admit, hashtags are one of my favorite Twitter features. While I use hashtags on a daily basis, and in almost every tweet I compose, I also think there is a right and wrong time to use this awesome feature.
When is the right time to use a hashtag? My answer to this question is simple: whenever you have something to say that you would like to share with other people in the Twittersphere! Hashtags help get your message across to more people than just your followers. Using hashtags is a great way to strike up some interesting discussions regarding public relations, or any topic for that matter. When you use a hashtag just make sure it fits whatever message you are sending. For instance, if you are tweeting a question about public relations and you would like feedback from other students, use a hashtag like #PRStudChat. This is the first hashtag I use if I need advice from fellow PR students or if I have something exciting to share.
Twitter chats is another prime time to use a hashtag. Personally, I love Twitter chats and there are some great ones out there (#PRStudChat, #pr20chat, #internchat and #u30pro to name a few) to get involved with. Twitter chats not only offer a chance to chat with other students and professionals once a week, biweekly or monthly, but they also offer amazing communities that you can build relationships with fellow community members. This is one reason I participate in Twitter chats. I simply love the communities that come with them!
When is the wrong time to use a hashtag? The only time I think it is the wrong time to use a hashtag is if a Twitter chat is going on with that particular hashtag and you randomly send a tweet promoting something. I have seen this happen before and the response was not very pretty from the Twitter chat community. While some communities may not mind, keep in mind that it could rub some communities, or community members, the wrong way.
Other than that, I do not think there is another wrong time to include a hashtag in a tweet. What are your thoughts? When is it right, or when is it wrong, to include a hashtag in a tweet?