Hashtags are a necessary if not occasionally goofy part of life on social media. Some are effective, some are, well, less so.

Here are 4 tips to help you write effective hashtags.

First, decide what the hashtag is for. Is it for one event? Or an ongoing campaign? That matters because the latter might require a hashtag that’s a little easier to figure out in a glance.

Second, keep it short. Remember you’ve only got 140 characters, so be economical because that hashtag eats into your available space.

Third, double check to see if anyone else out there is using your hashtag and how. You don’t want your message getting lost in the noise or associated with the wrong messages.

And fourth, be specific. It’s sort of related to point number three, but if you pick a hashtag too vague or broad, then you’re not getting in on the right conversation, and you’ll have a harder time bringing new people in.

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