The Twitterati are starting to take over the world. At the last count, the number of people who use Twitter had grown to approximately 450 million. Twitter hashtags are emerging as one of the best ways to close the gap between online and offline marketing.
They are used to promote events or sales and are a quick and easy method of spreading the word throughout the Twittersphere. The hashtag (denoted by #) is joined with a word or phrase and allows Twitter users to quickly search for things that interest them but the humble hashtag is also an excellent marketing tool. Below are 5 ways that your business can use Twitter hashtags for maximum effect.
Follow Small Business Hashtags
If you have no idea what a hashtag even is, follow a few on your Twitter account in order to find out what they actually do. You can search for hashtags on Twitter. If you are a small business looking to branch out, it makes sense to follow hashtags related to your industry. As such, you should look at #SMB, #Sales, #Networking, #Entrepreneur and #Small Business among others.
What will you find there? Hints, tips, advice and industry news that is fresh, up to date and usually accurate. One problem is that generic hashtags like these have an incredible amount of traffic so it can be a pain to trawl through countless irrelevant entries before you find gold. The good news is that scrolling can be extremely fast and you may find posts that inspire you to create blog entries. If you have the time and patience, following relevant hashtags could yield fantastic results.
Creating your own
If you run a small business, it is better to be a leader than a follower. Therefore, don’t just utilize the hashtags you find for information purposes, send out messages that are accompanied by popular hashtags so you can reach more readers. However, you shouldn’t stop there. Why not create your own hashtags?
When you tweet with your own hashtags, you have the chance to promote just about anything. Do you have a special offer, promotion or event that the world needs to know about? If so, you need to create and use your own hashtags. Bear in mind; however, that you can only use up to 140 characters and this will include the hashtag so keep it short. Never use spaces between the words because only the characters located before a space will get hyperlinked. Don’t use numerous hashtags unless they are relevant to your tweet. Abusing hashtags is a great way to lose followers.
Take part In business chats
Hashtags can be used to bring Twitter users together in order to take part in a discussion at a predetermined time. This may involve general discussion or specific questions that spark a debate. If you want to join a chat, simply log into Twitter at the agreed upon time and look out for tweets that carry the relevant hashtag. If you want to have your say, simply add the hashtag to your tweets. To be seen as an industry leader, perhaps you can begin scheduling your own chats.
Use Hashtags to promote your company
There is a fine line between cleverly promoting your company on Twitter and becoming a shameless self-publicist. Your followers will quickly grow tired of your company if your tweets contain nothing but company information. On the flipside, the whole reason you are on the site is to become better known. This requires a delicate balancing act.
As we have already mentioned, using hashtags sparingly with promotions is the ideal opportunity to use this device. Hold a contest online and attach a hashtag to it. Those who want to enter just need to send a tweet with a hashtag to be part of the fun.
Consistency is the key
The most important thing to remember when creating a hashtag is to be direct and to the point. As you know, Twitter is all about mastering the art of producing concise information. Never create a complex hashtag because it automatically cuts down on the length of your tweets and lengthy terms are not search engine friendly in any case. Few Twitter users will always look for a long hashtag so expect tweets carrying excessive hashtag baggage to be buried underneath a sea of brief tweets. In addition, too many hashtags simply make you sound desperate. Be smart, be simple and be consistent in order to be successful.
It is an exciting time to run a company but it is also a stressful one. If you don’t keep up with your rivals, their superior grasp of technology and online marketing will increase the gap between your companies faster than you can imagine. Master the art of Twitter hashtags and you can finally be a leader in your field.
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Sara Carter is a professional guest writer and blogger. Her writing experience encompasses technology, mobile, SEO, blogging and social media. Sara has written for many websites and blogs. She is a regular contributor to techrepublic.com. Sara is also a certificated Google Adwords expert.
Sara graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Sara also specializes in Computer Repair, Tech Support, Social Media Marketing, computer and mobile apps, Web Design, and Consulting. She is the co-founder of Mac-Reviews.net, a website that was created to help Mac users choose the best products for their Mac. You can contact Sara at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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