Kait Nolan touched on this in her awesome Social Media Ennui. This trend of loading up a tweet with tons of hashtags. I nodded in agreement as I read and possibly clapped at my computer screen.
Later in the week, I saw a tweet go by about someone’s new blog post. I don’t remember what it was about or who tweeted it. All I remembered were the SIX HASHTAGS it had. Maybe a variation on The Rule of Two was at work (or maybe I was already annoyed because yet another new follower thanked me for my follow and promptly asked me to like a Facebook page.) because I blew my stack.
We really need to work together to stop this madness which I think in most cases is confusion. But before I get into what I’m talking about, a quick definition of a hashtag for anyone not in the know.
Twitter has a way to mark your tweets so people outside of your followers can see them. Just slap a pound sign in front of a word or phrase (no spaces) and your tweet will be seen by anyone checking the hashtag. Using popular hashtags can put your tweets in front of many, many eyes. #amwriting is a good example.
Writers use it frequently to tweet their writing progress, goals and/or blog posts. And since it’s a high traffic hashtag, it gets used on almost any tweet related to writing. So, if you’re a writer, it’s a fine place to tell other writers what you’re up to.
#amwriting is one of many go to hashtags that some feel the need to cram in one little tweet. I think this is especially true in the case of giving another blogger a shoutout. The sentiment is in the right place, but once you get into the realm of four, five or SIX hashtags sandwiched in one tweet, all I see is buy, buy, buy.
There might not be anything literally for sale, but to me it’s the same thing and turns me off from clicking further. We all know not to do this for books, why do we forget when it comes to blog posts? Maybe we don’t realize how much a hashtag stands out. I think of them like different colored lights. Very bright lights pointed directly at our eyes and the more there are, the harder it is to see what’s behind them.
According to Kristen Lamb’s Twitter Tuesday #18, she recommends using no more than THREE hashtags per tweet. And if you’re retweeting someone else’s blog, same rules apply, but you need to CHANGE the hashtags.
By working together we can spread a good blog around our networks and through popular hashtags. But if one person uses all the bright lights, there’s nothing left for anyone to use. I, personally, won’t recycle recently used hashtags because it clogs up a stream with the same link. And I don’t want to be responsible for turning off people to a good blog.
With Tweetdeck you can make columns for hashtags like #amwriting. Do you know how annoying it is to see the same tweet go through a stream within minutes or seconds of each other? Now imagine I’m following other popular hashtags. The annoyance is now multiplied. The buy, buy, buy is all around me.
One tweet will never reach everyone and loading it full of hashtags might actually cause LESS people to pay attention to you. Seeing your avatar might be enough for someone to ignore anything you tweet. Nobody wants that.
Have you guys seen The Rise of the Hashtag Blitz? Does it annoy you as much as it does me or do you have a different threshold?