When teaching Social Media seminars there is always one question I can count on people asking. “What is a hashtag and how should I be using it for my business? There are so many reason why hashtags are a great marketing tool. Here are some ways you can use hashtags on Twitter.
What is a hashtag? A hashtag (#) is also known as a pound symbol or number sign. It is used in Social Media to mark or categorize a keyword or topic. When using hashtags make sure you don’t put any spaces between words. For example: #SocialMediaMarketing
Here are some easy ways you can use hashtags on Twitter:
- Targeting a specific audience
- Monitoring your reputation
- Checking out the latest industry trends
- Marketing an event or promotion
- Exchanging Content & Encouraging Conversations
1. Targeting a specific audience: If you are looking to target a niche audience, using hashtags on Twitter can be extremely effective. Tip: Don’t reinvent the wheel. Search for hashtag to see if there is already an existing hashtags targeting the audience you want to reach. You may also want to target according to location (#Lowell).
Here’s a great example of a brand reaching out to college students using #CollegeStudents.
2. Monitoring your reputation: Social Media is a wonderful tool for businesses, especially when people are saying great things about you! On the flipside, it can also be a tool for you to respond to unhappy customers quickly and efficiently. Hashtags are a great customer service tool! Comcast has a whole team of people responding to people on Twitter.
3. Checking out the latest industry trends: Search for hashtags related to your industry to see what people are saying. This is a great way to stay ahead of the curve – if you’re standing still than you are falling behind! What are some industry terms you can be search for?
Here’s an example of how Chambers can be using #ChamberofCommerce to see what people are saying about Chambers across the country!
4. Marketing an event or promotion: When planning an event or promotion, create a hashtag that goes along with it. This is a great way to foster conversations, see what people are saying about your event or promotion, run a contest, etc. Use the hashtag to build excitement and foster conversations. Here’s an example of how to use hashtags for an event and a contest. (Remember: Before you create a hashtag, search for that hashtag to see if it’s already taken.)
Event Promotion – We used #SMSB14 to promote our Social Media Summit last May. Here’s how some people used the hashtag:
Contest – These businesses used #contest to market their promotion. Now they will appear anytime someone searches for #contest (talk about reach!):
5. Exchanging Content & Encouraging Conversations: One of the greatest things about Twitter is that it gives people the ability to connect with other people/businesses. It’s so easy to meet other industry professionals and learn about some of their best practices. Twitter is also a great way to reach out to the media, authors, etc.
I like how @EforAll always includes other people and hastags in their tweets. They really know how to build relationships through Twitter.
I hope you found these 5 quick tips useful! My challenge is for you to think about how you are going to utilize hashtags for your business on Twitter. You may even want to consider creating a hashtag for your business (just make sure you search to see if the hashtag has already been used).
Please follow me on Twitter at @DMcFaddenLowell and the @GreaterLowellCC. And if you found this post interesting feel free to share!
President/CEO – Greater Lowell Chamber of Commerce