I’ve been talking a lot lately about why I love Twitter and to really get you in the game I wanted to follow it up with a post about hashtags.
What is a hashtag? A hashtag is a word or short phrase (with no spaces or punctuation) that follows the # sign.
Where can they be used? A hashtag can be used on most social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest to name a few.
On each platform the purpose, goal, and use of a hashtag is very similar, but for the purpose of this post I am going to focus on Twitter and the use of hashtags there.
Why should you use hashtags? There are many reasons the effective use of hashtags can be very helpful to your business marketing plan, strategy, and information gathering so let’s dive in and I’ll show you the most productive ways to use hashtags while you tweet!
1. The hashtag is a searchable term.
Trying to find out what your target market is saying? Wanting to know who they follow and why?
Hoping to find out what questions your prospect clients are asking? Needing to know what terms your competition is using? Enter, the hashtag.You can search for these terms your audience might be using and voila – all the answers to those questions at your fingertips!
2. Create your own hashtag so others can find YOU.
Promoting a launch? Selling a service? Asking a question? Reaching out to your audience? Marketing your biz?
Create a unique hashtag that your followers, and those who might be searching for you, a way to find you easily. This may take a bit of brainstorming to find a tag that is not heavily used, but it is very possible. Just use that search function again as you try out ideas that relate specifically to who you are, what you do, and what you offer.
3. Follow a trend that is relevant to your business.
Make use of popular hashtags that are “trending” meaning they are used by a LOT of people. This way you can find AND share valuable content. Your tweet will show up in more people’s feeds who are talking about the same thing you are. Visibility!!
4. Participate in, or start a Twitter chat.
A Twitter chat is organized around a group of people using the same hashtag in each tweet in order to read and follow, or remark on and add to a conversation stream around a specific topic. Consider this like “open office hours.” You can engage your followers on a topic you set yourself (with the specific hashtag so everyone knows how to follow you and comment) or jump in on another Twitter chat that is related to your business adding valuable advice, commentary, or just to see what others might have to say! Follow my Twitter chats here! #AskKarenY
5. Most importantly – add value and have fun!
This goes hand in hand with establishing yourself as an expert and as someone to follow. One, you add great content by tagging it so people can find it, and Two, when you have fun you will have great commentary that people enjoy. Just like everything else in social media, people want to see who YOU are. So let your hair down a little, write a fun tweet, tag it with a funny comment and see what happens!
It should be noted that you don’t NEED to use a hashtag for your post to come up in a Twitter search. There’s really no need to use it mid-tweet, but it IS valuable to call attention to specific topics you may be tweeting about.
Ready to try it? I’d love to know how it goes! Click here to tweet your new campaign at me (use @karenyankovich) and I’d be glad to comment, retweet, and high-five you and your post!
Thank you Karen! I love Twitter, and has become my fave social media tool since I really started using it just in the past five months. I do love searching hashtags about healthy eating, so I can pop into a conversation and add value. It is so fun! Here’s my handle if you’d like to follow 🙂 @taniamercer
I’m @karenyankovich! See you there.
Ok! Just found it on your contact page. Now following you 🙂
Thanks for the lesson Karen. I still resist Twitter, but now that I have completely given up on my Facebook business page, maybe it is time to really dive into Twitter. I know who to ask for help when I’m ready!
Ah I want to jump in here and talk about your Facebook page now. Dive in!
Your advice about SocialOomph has been fabulous for an increase in followers. Now I want to try a chat. #thankyou
You would be GREAT a twitter chatting!
Thanks, Karen! So, I haven’t been using hashtags, this is so helpful in the why & how. I thinking now of some unique hashtags for my programs…
Be sure to share them!
You are a wealth of information! #Iheartyourposts 🙂 full of juicy and informative bits!
So glad to be of service Elizabeth.
Have you ever seen that comedy skit where 2 people talk in hashtags? it is so funny!!!!
I have, and I agree, it’s hilarious!
Oh Karen, this is wonderful. I am still a little confused by twitter and hashtags, this cleared a few things up. I find your posts are SO valuable.
That’s great Dana. Thanks for following them!
Thanks for explaining proper use of the hashtag. I do find it confusing and never really saw the value until I read this post. I think it will be great for gathering information on my target audience and plan to work on this soon.
Great Krystal! Let me know if I can help.
When I started using a hashtag to brand my tweets it felt kind of weird, but it gets better with practice. Plus, it’s easier to see what you’ve already shared by doing a quick search. 🙂
Creative Hashtag Creation can be a blog in itself! What’s your branded hashtag?
Hi, Karen! Your statement about effective use of hashtags is really important :). I see a lot of over-use and it’s frustrating. Effective use is great and you’ve outlined the benefits really clearly.
I think it’s kind of funny. People don’t realize how much it makes them look like a rookie.
i rarely use twitter (it’s just not my favorite social media site), but your (very useful) information about hashtags is extremely tempting . . . might just push me over the edge and get me tweeting more! thanks, karen.
April I’m going to be looking for those tweets!
This is such a straightforward and easy way of explaining hashtags! Thanks so much for sharing, I feel like it’s always hard to explain hashtags to people who are less active on social media but this is perfect!