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Twitter Hashtag Infographic Fail

Twitter Hashtag Infographic

Twitter launched this infographic on August 21, 2013.

Mashable and other sites spread it the following day.

It’s everywhere.

And, it’s a failure.

Who spends so much time creating a hashtag? Do corporate boardroom sessions dedicate time to review these flowchart actions?

Let me simplify this monstrosity of a flowchart:

  1. Create your own hashtag if it doesn’t exist and if it is unique both for people to remember and for people to use to amplify your reach.
  2. Do not create your own hashtag if one already exists and if your participation will benefit you and others using it.

If you are creating a new product then create a hashtag for it.

But if your product is linked to an existing product, then join that hashtag.

For instance, click through hashtags for the Subaru #Impreza, the Apple #iPad, the #Lenovo computer brand, the Boston #RedSox baseball team, and the clothing company #Levis.

Note that company accounts are not the only tweets there. Anyone who has something to tweet about the Red Sox or Lenovo is adding #RedSox or #Lenovo, respectively, to tweets.

Twitter Hashtag Example

It is imperative that you know your audience before creating a hashtag.

If they are tweeting and they know you or your product, promote a hashtag that they’re already using. Be obvious about it.

From Twitter’s cheat sheet for hashtags:

Take the American version of X-Factor as an example. The producers wanted to differentiate their show from the original British version. They settled on #XFUSA — it was short and unique, different from the British version — perfect, right? A funny thing happened though. Fans were using the non-promoted #xfactor five times more than #xfusa.

Twitter Hashtag Infographic

Quite a difference, huh? So the producers listened to their fans and changed it up. The show started promoting #xfactor in the second episode, and saw an immediate increase in the Twitter conversation. Sometimes if you let your fans determine your hashtag, you’ll end up with even higher levels of engagement. And they’ll love you forever.

No agency-produced flowchart about creating a hashtag can substitute for the real thing. Put yourself or your brand in the place of X-Factor.

If people are talking about you, promote your hashtag with whatever they’re using. If nobody’s talking about you, then either create one — or don’t. Maybe there’s a reason they’re not talking about you — which signifies a bigger problem.

This article was originally published on

This article was originally published on .

Author: Ari Herzog

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Since 2009, Ari’s been self-employed as a digital public relations strategist, online community manager, and college professor of digital marketing. Appearing in many online publications including, Poynter, CBS Moneywatch, Fast Company, and Bank of America’s blog, he sits on the global board of directors of Social Media Club and is past president of SMC’s Boston chapter. Ari is the founder of Social Media Breakfast North Shore, a professional networking group that meets monthly in the north shore sharing social media tips. He writes about digital media on his own blog and in other publications including The Huffington Post. View Profile

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