Twitter is a crowded place. With over 600 million users and over 58 million tweets per day, it can be tough to break through all the noise and be noticed by anyone, much less your customers. Twitter feeds are updated every second and a tweet that was sent out an hour ago more than likely was seen by very few. Fortunately, Twitter devised a tool long ago to help you get noticed and to hit on what is trending in the world right now. This tool is called the hashtag – #. Placed directly in front of a word like this, #twitter, it’s a powerful tool for following an event, person, or topic.
But most Twitter users abuse the hashtag or simply use it incorrectly. Often you will see tweets that have only hashtags or five random words with hashtags at the end of the tweet. This style of using hashtags takes away from the message of the tweet and has no effect on being noticed.
Hashtag Best Practice
First, a good practice is to include just one or two hashtags in a tweet. This way the tags are not taking away from your overall tweet while still adding some visibility to you. Below are a few examples:
How To Use Pinterest's Bold New Look http://t.co/4MBit3YKWh #SocialMedia #Marketing
— Jeff Bullas (@jeffbullas) February 19, 2014
40 #WordPress experts share their favorite #plugins: http://t.co/jiOY8bxabL *DJ
— (mt) Media Temple (@mediatemple) February 14, 2014
Each of these tweets is promoting an article on the company’s/person’s respected website. What we like about them is that they have added hashtags to the two most important topics related to the posts. The first uses #socialmedia and #marketing and the second, #wordpress and #plugins. Four very relevant hashtags that people often search for on a daily basis on Twitter. For your blog posts, do a search on Twitter to see if the topic is searched for and discussed often. If it is, #hashtag it up.
In addition to using general hashtags related to your post or industry, it’s also a great strategy to jump on board the trending hashtags of the day. These are displayed on the left hand side of your Twitter feed and when used correctly, can have a big impact on your Twitter following.
Each day we look at what is trending in the US and see if we can somehow leverage this to our brand and our clients’ brands. This may take a little brainstorming or thinking outside the box but is well worth the effort. Need further proof that this tactic is effective. Consider Gary Vaynerchuk of Vayner Media has daily meetings with his team to discuss the current trends on Twitter and how to leverage them with their clients. If Vayner Media does it, then you should too.
A great tool we recently discovered for following trends is Trendsmap. This little website is a powerful tool for discovering what is hot in areas near you or around the US. It helps you stay up to date on everything is happening in a given area. For instance, you may discover that #Lakers is trending in Los Angeles during the Lakers game. If you’re a local business, live in LA, or visiting, this presents a great opportunity to offer your support for the team. Plus this makes you seem more human, which followers appreciate.
Twitter is serious business and a great way to establish your brand. Using hashtags will often help you or your company become noticed much quicker. Just remember what we talked about here, and you will find yourself riding high on the #hashtag wave.
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