Monday, January 16, 2012

No Tag Backs!

The hash tag. It's a useful tool in spreading content or a message across twitter. If you are building brand and name recognition it can be one of the most powerful marketing tools available. It's fun and heartening to see others re-tweet you, spreading your message, content (or plans for world domination) even further across a hash tag. Communities had sprung up around some hash tags. #MyWANA being a big one that comes to mind.

But do people know how to effectively use hash tags?

Over  and over, I  keep seeing RTs going out to the same tags used in the original tweet. Sure, a RT to the same tags is fine, if a period of time has passed since the original tweet. Not everyone is on twitter at the same time to see the first tweet. But, RTing it immediately to the same tags? Not so much.

@wrytersblockDH wrote:
 Come read my new blog! #myWANA #Twitter

Then, user @AbcTweeter tweeted 2 tweets in the timeline later:
RT @wrytersblockDH: Come read my new blog! #myWANA #Twitter

Now, do this on a popular/busy hash tag, and the number of RTs can get obnoxious. The RTs mean well, and are sharing something they think is worthy, but there's no need to be beat over the head with it. What you can do instead is to edit the RT first, and change the hash tags. This spreads the tweet further and further, and keeps the hash tags you love from getting really annoyed with you. You can reach other tags that the original tweeter didn't think of, or didn't have room to include.

Think of RTing with hash tags like a game of tag you played as a kid - No Tag Backs!


  1. I'm a little slow on the whole hashtag thing. I noticed how the #MyWANA fills up with the same tweet pretty quickly, though, so it makes good sense to me to change the tag. I need a listing somewhere of tags... Is there such a thing? (having trouble posting under my Google ID, so I'm trying Anonymous... I'm Lara Schiffbauer, just in case it goes through)

  2. Lara, I've never seen a list of tags before. Tags are whatever you can think up, really. Sort of that "build it, and they will come" mentality. Just watch other peoples tweets, and you'll pick up more tags than you can handle. :)

  3. You can just make up your own. That's one of the good things about hashtags. Unfortunately, anything that's posted as a list is also dominated by people who keep RTing without changing the tag. #MyWANA is probably on a writing list somewhere -- that's why we get so many book advertisements by people who aren't in the group.