Have you ever wondered what proper hashtag etiquette is? Do you know those that overuse hashtags for some sort of tracking or not knowing how to restrain themselves? I bet they have Virtual Gratification Syndrome, or VGS for short.
There are numerous articles already in existence but in the age of ROI, tracking and social analytics it seems that posts are being padded. Mainly when the posts are set to auto tweet. Think back to LOL and the little emoticons that now have so many you have no clue what they mean.
but there are those that I like to call “Over-Hashtagers.” They add hashtags to their tweets, their status updates, posts on other peoples’ walls, emails and text messages. These enthusiasts sometimes even have more than one hashtag to add to whatever it is that they’re saying, but at that point, no one really reads what they’re saying anymore because it is riddled by so many hashtags.
This was a great summary of overhashtaggers from The Minaret at the end of 2011. It emphasises in the article that overuse often drives people away from reading your posts or understanding exactly what you are trying to share. I know I have been guilty in Instagram but that is the way searching is still done in there for public pictures. But for tweets, Facebook posts and blog updates I refrain. I believe that proper keywords, categories and titles will convey what you want and get the search engines to find you.
If your organization is tracking your every post and using some form of ranking on hashtags then you are doing something wrong. Think about customer engagement, not how many times a hashtag shows. Think about generated content and how long a user stays on your site. There is much more to finding information than a subject line with seven hashtags. Another point is that when an event is over, there is a reasonable amount of time to continue using the tag itself. Like summaries and thoughts. There is also a point where it is way too early. Both of these points apply when the posting has nothing to do with an event, but everything to do with driving only statistics for usage of a particular tag.
Speaking of that, make sure to go read all the posts on Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS) from my archives.