Last week I published a seemingly controversial article and infographic about how hashtags have become almost worthless for businesses. I found that many generic hashtags like #Marketing or #SocialMedia were magnets for bots or spammers. What I did not expect was such a fevered pushback from some of commenters and readers. They felt I took to harsh of a stand on hashtags and that they were still the best thing since sliced bread. And there were a lot of people who believed that.
Since so many people thought that hashtags were still relevant in business, I decided to take a look at how thought leaders and influencers are using them. For this sample I selected 30 thought leaders analyzed 15k of their most recent tweets. To keep the sample diverse people like Ryan Hooverr from Product Hunt, Rand Fishkin from Moz and even Dharmesh Shah from HubSpot were included. Plus we also looked at brands like Wired, Y Combinator and Digital Trends.
After just a fast review of the numbers, I saw that something was amiss. In fact, I quickly found that the days were numbered for hashtags in their current form. With some of the best people on Twitter even using them poorly or in reality not at all.