If you’re a small business owner that uses Twitter to promote your company, you’ve probably heard of a hashtag. There are literally millions of them. Did you know that as a small business, hashtags can actually boost your bottom line? To help you learn how to use hashtags effectively, BizBytes has prepared a how-to guide to get you started.
A hashtag is really just a keyword or phrase with a # symbol in front of it. For example: #BizBytes101 or #Thanksgiving.
Twitter uses hashtags to make it easy to start conversations around different topics. By using Twitter search (search.twitter.com) and entering a particular hashtag you can see what conversations happen that correspond to that hashtag.
Creating a hashtag takes just a few seconds. When you compose a tweet about a particular thing such as a sale you’re having on Thanksgiving, just add the # symbol to the words you want to highlight, such as #ThanksgivingDaySale.
Before you decide to use a hashtag, check to see if it is new or if others have already used it. To check, log on to www.search.twitter.com and type in the hashtag you would like to use. This will show conversations are happening or have already happened around that particular keyword or phrase. If you find that a lot of conversations are happening around a hashtag you are considering, you may want to tweak your hashtag slightly. For example, if a lot of people are talking about #ThanksgivingDaySale, you may want to use a hashtag that is better targeted to your particular business by adding the name of your product or service.
Keep it simple. Don’t hashtag extremely long phrases. Keep your phrases to three or four words for maximum effectiveness.
Twitter Search isn’t just for finding out about if a particular hashtag is in use. It can also help you find customers. Type in the name of your product, service or industry and see what people are talking about. Hone in on those people that may be the best targets for your business.
Don’t limit the use of your hashtag to just Twitter. Use it across multiple marketing pieces such as brochures, business cards and on your website.
Because popular hashtags appear as a trending topic on the Twitter homepage and on account streams, some people use the same hashtag over and over again without really adding any value to a conversation. In the Twitterverse, that is a big no-no. Posting a link with a hashtag that doesn’t actually link to anything of value is also frowned upon. Your best bet is to keep your use of hashtags organic and make sure you’re adding value each time you use them.
For more ways to use hashtags to promote your business, visit www.BizBytes101.com .