LOL And The Social Media Manager-To Avoid Or Not To Avoid Abbreviations And Hashtags
When it comes to writing for social media, abbreviations and hashtags seem to rule the platforms. Individuals and companies are using these abbreviations and hashtags to increase their reach, communicate more quickly, and to ensure they don’t go over the 140-character Twitter limit.
But hashtags and abbreviations can cause irritation or confusion among your followers if they’re not used correctly.
So should you use abbreviations and hashtags, or should you avoid them?
The following are some general guidelines to help you determine the right time (and the right way) to use them.
Use hashtags sparingly.
Hashtags are used on Twitter as a way to increase the reach of your tweets. Think of hashtags as Twitter keywords. When you put the # symbol in front of a word, and if that word is searched by users, your tweet will come up. Many companies use this as a way to put their tweets in front of consumers or other professionals that would find it interesting.
Using hashtags is acceptable, but you need to use them sparingly. The general rule is to never exceed three hashtags in every tweet you send. Any more than that, and your readers will become irritated and tune out your tweets.
Keep the hashtags on Twitter.
One of the most annoying social media habits that individuals and companies make is using hashtags on Facebook. If you are posting to Facebook, there is no need for you to use hashtags, as they don’t serve a purpose. If you’re going to use hashtags, make sure you only use them on your tweets.
Use valuable hashtags.
Somewhere in the history of Twitter, people decided to make their own hashtags that come in the form of long phrases or sentences. It’s important that you keep in mind doing this doesn’t serve any purpose other than showing your creativity or being funny.
These hashtags will not help your tweet gain exposure, so you may want to stick with only real and valuable hashtags to get results. Using hashtags like #idrankallmycoffee isn’t going to do anything for your business aside from tell your followers that you drank coffee.
Only use common abbreviations.
There are certain abbreviations that are understood by a wide audience, such as LOL or LMAO. If you’re going to use abbreviations in your social media strategies, it’s important that you stick to abbreviations that are understood by a large audience, especially your audience. Using abbreviations that your audience doesn’t understand is only going to cause confusion.
If you are going to abbreviate words so that you can keep your tweet within 140 characters, it’s also important that you choose abbreviations that make sense.
For example, instead of writing “search engine optimization”, you can cut it down to “SEO”, as this is understood.
Trying to create your own abbreviations can cause confusion among your audience, so always beware of what you’re trying to abbreviate. If you don’t think that your audience will understand it, try to rewrite your tweet so that you don’t need the abbreviation.
Kelly Parker is a social media manager and avid blogger. She always uses an online checking tool to proof her work before posting it online.