Despite being around for four years now, big brands and small businesses could make better use of Twitter hashtags which can help raise awareness of their products and services as well as help grow their audience.
Twitter hashtags group conversations by topic, theme or subject and they’re also great for promoting events, running competitions and Tweet chats. You can create your own conversation or follow someone else’s. Selecting a hashtag has the same effect as entering it into the twitter.com Search field as search results for that hashtag, that is the conversation, are then displayed in a single stream.
Here are 5 tips to make the most of hashtags:
1) Make it concise and understandable – Ensure your hashtag is concise (maximum of 15 characters) but that it also conveys meaning and is easily understandable. #LetsDoLunch from Domino’s Pizza UK and #DenimPairs from ASOS UK (campaign launching this Friday) are good examples. There is little point in including your business or brand name as your account name will reflect that.
2) Use capital letters within hashtag – As illustrated by the hashtag examples in 1), it’s a good idea to use capital letters within hashtags to separate words, sometimes called CamelCase. This also prevents problems of misunderstanding as demonstrated by the hashtag – quickly corrected – that was used to promote Susan Boyle’s album at the end of last year.
We’re talking about Susan Boyle’s Album Launch Party, and noticed on Twitter this hashtag #susanalbumparty – look at it carefully..(I know!)
— BBC Radio 1 (@BBCR1) November 21, 2012
3) Spread the word – If you are using for an event, competition or draw then promote, promote, promote! Before an event ensure that all attendees are aware of the hashtag and display it on signage and screens at your event. Encourage them to tweet about the event before during and after. For competitions and draws use other social networks such as Facebook to promote…here’s an example for a great Twitter hashtag competition.
4) Use hashtags to encourage user generated content – Encourage engagement by asking your community to upload or post photos and videos accompanied by a hashtag. This makes their content easy to identify and works particularly well on image and video sites like Pinterest, Vine and Instagram. Yes, hashtags work on these sites too.
5) Not just on Twitter – Hashtags are generally associated with Twitter but they work in the same way on LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram and Vine although not Facebook…yet. So don’t forget to use hashtags on these social networks too.
Bonus tip – you can view the conversation around any hashtag by using the following web address – http://twitter.com/<#hashtag>. For example, http://twitter.com/#GlosBiz.
For more help with Twitter for your business check out my regular Twitter workshops in Cheltenham. I can also come to you and provide in-house Twitter training.