|14-001: The made up #hashtag|
|Agency: Bath Township Fire||Topic(s): Prevention and engagement|
|Date: Spring 2014||Platform: Twitter|
Twice a year, moving our clocks ahead/behind one hour for daylight savings time provides all of us public safety the opportunity to push an easy fire safety tip to our constituents. It’s a good time to remind folks to test their smoke alarms. That’s what BTFD FC did when they posted this message on twitter, which included the #gopushthebuttton hashtag.
Keep in mind that Twitter’s mantra is short concise messaging limited to 140 characters. The idea behind a hashtag is to pair your tweet with other tweets out in the twittersverse. So I did a quick search for #gopushthebutton and found only one tweet from BTFD FC. With no other tweets using that hashtags, using #gopushthebutton was just wasted characters.
If you use irrelevant or made up hashtags, all you end up doing is wasting valuable space. Long tweets do not allow your followers the room to retweet your valuable content to their followers because of 140 maximum character counts.
A more effective tweet could have read:
Test every smoke alarm & CO detector in your home today. An easy safety reminder from XXFD. More info? www.XXFD.org
By phrasing it this way:
1. You have more visibility by reminding your followers test both smoke and CO detectors.
2. Twitter shows your twitter handle and name with the tweet, so don’t waste space by repeating information already in plain sight.
3. Do not use a made up hashtag as it will confuse your followers. In a serious tweet, use a serious hashtag.
4. Using the word “easy” will likely get your followers to complete a task because it’s easy.
5. Or consider using a more popular hashtag. In this case, #daylightsavings or #springforward
6. Reference your website for more information on detectors. Also you are establishing your agency as a trusted source with good information. And through analytics, you can also track how many people visited your tweeted website which could assist in quantifying your social media efforts.
Time is valuable, so tweet good stuff.
***To download this as a single-page printable format, click this: Safety-PIO-SM-14-001