If Twitter is part of your social media marketing strategy, then chances are you’ve used hashtags before. However, if you’re new to Twitter, you may not be familiar with them yet. Hashtags are short words or phrases preceded by a “#” sign.
Why do Twitter users use hashtags? For one, Hashtags make it easy for Twitter users to search and categorize tweets. Social media marketers, use hashtags to make their campaigns easy to share and easy for users to access. For example, businesses often use the hashtag: #businessname or #businessname-promotion. These are easy ways for people to locate your business while using Twitter.
While hashtags can be useful, they are often used ineffectively by individuals, organizations and companies. Here are 5 ways you can harness the power of hashtags to make your social media marketing efforts on Twitter more effective:
1.Follow Small Business Conversations – Twitter can provide small business owners with a wealth of timely, relevant information. The problem is knowing who to follow or what topics to hone in on when you’re a busy business owner.
Search for hashtags related to small business such as #SMB and #smallbiz. These hashtags will give you a vast amount of resources, information and inspiration. A quick scan through small business related conversations on Twitter may be enough to give you a push in the right direction.
You can also follow more defined topics related to business such as #marketing, #startups, #entrepreneurs, #sales and #networking. These hashtags will give you a narrower focus depending on what type of small business related information you are looking for on Twitter.
2.Consistency is Key – Creating hashtags for your business’s tweets can be tricky. Just remember to create simple, easy to remember hashtags. Once you’ve created a hashtag, be consistent. For example, say you are an sporting goods company and you’re running a ski gear campaign. Instead of doing a hashtag such as #SkiGearYourComany, you should just do one like #SkiGear and also include #yourcompany in the tweet. You always want to be thinking about what users will be entering into their queries on Twitter. In this example, lots more people will be typing in #SkiGear rather than #SkiGearYourCompany.
3.Use Hashtags Strategically – If you’ve used Twitter for any amount of time, you may have seen people using them as a way to add an aside to their tweets. For example here’s a tweet you might see this time of year “Scraped frost off my car this morning. #frozemyfingersoff.” You’ve also likely seen a twee that has more hashtags than actual text content. In both of these cases, people aren’t using hashtags effectively. Instead, you should use hashtags that will make your tweet easy to search and categorize. Use only 1 to 2 hashtags in your tweets. A tweet loaded with hashtags is overkill and you may lose followers if you consistently use too many.
4.Launch Your Own Hashtag – While using the hashtag #yourbusiness is a great way to help people find your tweets, you may also want to launch more creative hashtags that will generate buzz around your marketing campaigns. For example, as a sporting goods company, you may want to encourage followers to tweet #snowday on days when they’re hitting the slopes. This is an easy way to generate some excitement around your company and the conversation will grow. You could even work in a promotional offer once you hit a target number of tweets using the #snowday hashtag.
5.Follow Friday – The hashtag #FF or #FollowFriday is a great way to gain new followers and also build relationships with other users. Each Friday, suggest a handful of users for your followers to follow and close the tweet with either #FF or #FollowFriday. These tweets often generate a great number of new followers for everyone who participates. Plus, it is a fun way to get involved in the Twitter community.