If you use Twitter, which most marketers do, the letters that preceed the # sign in a tweet are known as hastags. These hashtags are used to increase Twitter results, and here are a few tips on how to maximize their use.
First, interestingly enough, Twitter didn’t actually invent hastags, rather, a user did, more pointedly, Chris Messina. He envisioned a way for different people to follow other users with similar interests. The identifying marker was the letters after the # sign.
They can be used to group tweets into a category or to add originality to a tweet. The latter is why most individuals use hashtags.
For example, a person looking to follow the happenings of Japan Earthquakes that took place last year could get up to the minute information long after traditional media outlets moved on to other stories. With a simple Japan earthquake hashtag, as much info as possible was easy to get.
Of course, research is best in the decision to use hastags. You need to make sure that if it’s a marketing campaign, you’re not using a hashtag that is already going for another event or that may have nothing to do with your product or service. This could end up being either wildly inappropriate or downright embarrassing, or perhaps both.
Here are 5 tips you need to consider when using hashtags on Twitter.
Getting Event Feedback
Use hashtags to monitor public opinions during a conference or seminars. You, as an organizer, can gauge how attendees are enjoying or not enjoying themselves. It also can allow people to easily submit questions or comments on the event as well.
Reaching Out to Potential Customers
Thanks to research from Klout, a typical tweet has a 5 hour window where it can be its most effective at creating word of mouth results for a product or service. By using a hashtag, studies have shown this can significantly increase the life span of your tweets.
Brevity is Key
It’s easy to be long winded, but well thought out hashtags should say all they need to in as little as one to possibly two words at the most. In some situations, you’ll need a long hash tag to establish a category. However, in most cases, the shorter, the better.
Your hash tag will be your calling card. People looking for your posts will often find you via a hashtag. So, once you start using it, always use it. In addition, don’t choose your company or brand name for a hashtag. If the people want to follow your company’s tweets, they can find them on your company’s Twitter account. Adding this as a hashtag is just unnecessary repeated information.
A Strong Marketing Basics Foundation
Lastly, don’t forget how to use the basics of marketing as it relates to hashtags. Yes, you’ll want to do research to find a hashtag that isn’t already in use, and you’ll certainly want to try out your hashtag marketing ideas out before rolling them out to the general public. And there is little doubt you’ll want a contingency plan in the event your hashtag campaign doesn’t go according to plan. But, most importantly is to understand who hashtags are for.
Hashtags are used by regular people, not primarily by advertising or marketing types. By understanding this, sticking with the tips mentioned above, and a little creativity, you and your business could benefit greatly from using hastags in twitter postings.