Using hashtags on your social media channels is a great way to connect your media to particular topics of conversation. They help your brand to become easily discoverable and accessible by your target audience.
Although there are a lot of benefits to using hashtags, one of their downfalls is that they cannot contain punctuation or spaces. This can make them difficult to read. One of the best ways to make your hashtags easier to read is by capitalising the first letter of each word in your hashtag to make your message clearer.
For example, instead of writing your hashtag as #growthriveblossom, write it like this: #GrowThriveBlossom.
As you can see, using capital letters makes it easier to read and prevents the information from being misinterpreted. Using capital letters in your hashtags also:
- protects your brand from unintentionally spreading fake news
- prevents damage to your reputation
- ensures the hashtags remain inclusive and accessible for people with learning differences and registered blind or partially sighted
Accidental fake news
Hashtags can trend for all kinds of reasons, however, from time to time, hashtags can accidentally spread fake news.
Back in 2013, the hashtag #nowthatcherisdead trended worldwide after ex-Prime Minster, Margaret Thatcher passed away. The hashtag should have said #NowThatThatcherIsDead but was read as #NowThatCherIsDead. Horrified, Cher fans began mourning the loss of the Goddess of Pop, only to discover that the hashtag was misinterpreted. If punctuation was used, then this would have prevented unnecessary heartache.
The wrong kind of party
Another hashtag that went very wrong was back in 2012 when the very talented singer Susan Boyle released her new album.
Her hashtag #susanalbumparty trended on Twitter for all the wrong reasons. The hashtag was easy to misread, resulting in many Twitter users joking about it being a very different kind of party! If Susan’s representatives had capitalised the first letter of each word, so it said #SusanAlbumParty, then the whole situation could have been avoided.
Being inclusive with your Social Media Marketing
All jokes aside, capital letters in hashtags enable content to be accessible by disabled people.
Blind and partially sighted people, for example, may use Assistive Technology to access the internet. Using capital letters will make it easier for the AT software to correctly pronounce words. By investing more time to create accessible hashtags, you can open your brand up to more customers so that more traffic and leads can be directed to your website.
My best advice is to incorporate good social media hashtag practices into your business or charity. By doing this, you are protecting your brand from any hashtag fails and allowing your social media channels to be more accessible to a new audience. Finally, read over your hashtags carefully and ask your social media team to involve themselves with the sign-off process to minimise typos.
Would you like us to help you create good social media practice guidelines, or to compile a bespoke list of hashtags for your business or charity? Get in touch. We love to natter!