A well-planned online marketing and social media marketing strategy is to use all channels of traffic to bring qualified leads and traffic to your website. If you still haven’t started with Twitter, then 2013 is the best year to start. Twitter is currently growing at a very fast rate with over 200 Million users in Dec 2012. Almost every celebrity uses it to tweet gossip, updates and even their views on global issues.
This post will not be about how to setup a twitter account but on how to use Twitter #hashtags for your Local Business. Basically, twitter hashtags are words that includes the number operator sign (# sign). When one click on the link associated with a #, they’ll see the latest messages from people who have included those hashtags in their messages. Hashtags are very important because they allow you to find highly targeted and relevant twitter users in your area or niche.
1. Figure out the purpose
The primary reason for using a hashtag in a tweet is to emphasize a particular issue or theme that other people can then connect themselves with by utilizing the same hashtag.
A perfect example is Adidas’ use of the hashtag #takethestage during the 2012 London Olympics, which enabled other users to tweet their views about the Olympics and the athletes featured in Adidas’ marketing campaign.
This automatic indexing is important as it helps users find out information linked to their interest on a social rather than search optimized basis.
2. #Don’t #overdo the hashtags
As mentioned, hashtags are designed to index content based on a common theme and to make it easier for users search.
Therefore, it’s annoying for other users (and looks very amateurish) when someone incessantly hash tags every word in their tweet . This is actually considered spamming and not a good social media marketing or SEO practice.
A good parody account that makes fun of this problem is @Chino_Wanker.
So, instead of jumping on three hashtags to make sure your content is viewed by others, just pick the most relevant possible hashtag and use that instead.
3. Make #Hashtags Short, Sweet and to the Point
Twitter is based around short form content – 140 characters or less – so avoid using long hashtags. You are also creating less room for other users to contribute their own views.
Long hashtags are also tricky to read and easy to misspell, meaning the content won’t be associated with its intended conversations.
Finding short, creative hashtags is becoming a painstaking task as the platform becomes more popular, but it’s better to come up with something brief and creative than something long and precise.
4. Don’t change the hashtag halfway through your campaign
Once you’ve selected your hashtag, stick to it. A change halfway through the campaign will result in split up conversations or will force people to use two different hashtags, which again limits their ability to contribute to the conversation.
Take a look at Adidas’ Olympic Marketing Campaign for a perfect example to follow.
5. Join & Promote your Hashtags
To become an effective hashtags, you would need to stick yours on all your social media websites, on your print marketing materials and even at the bottom of your emails, and so on.
However, there is a reason behind the use, so make sure to include a call-to-action asking your customers to join the discussions or voice their views and opinions.
6. Jump on other hashtags
Popularizing hashtags is extremely difficult, so to give yourself a better chance of gaining exposure it’s worth searching Twitter to identify words that are already being used in conversation about your particular issue or topic.
However you also need to be careful about elbowing your way into the middle of an existing conversation, as nobody likes a gatecrasher and it’s likely to annoy the people you’re trying to engage with.
But there are even opportunities to change the use of a hashtag altogether, a great example being the charity Water Is Life turning #firstworldproblems on its head.
7. Integrate your hashtags into sentences
By integrating your hashtag into a sentence, the hashtag now becomes contextualised and the content looks better and much more professional. It also means you save space and can therefore write more.
8. Remember your hashtags are accessible to everyone
The great thing about Twitter is that the content is free and available to everyone; however that also means that hashtags are open to being hijacked or manipulated. So be careful because there have been cases where employees have accidentally written on company twitter accounts revealing personal information. Consumers have also used Twitter as a platform to voice their outrage over products and services.
This is particularly true of individual words that can be easily be used out of context in a sentence. However I would suggest that brands just need to be aware that there is always the potential that Twitter campaigns will backfire spectacularly, regardless of the hashtag. An excellent example of this is the wave of abuse that McDonald’s received off the back of its #McDStories campaign.
9. Create Your Own
The universe of Twitter is big and can be a bit confusing to navigate, especially for those who are starting to make use of the social media platform.If you’ve used Twitter before, chances are, you’ve encountered big brands who have created their own hashtags for branding or conversations. Hashtags are an awesome way to create buzz, if you can get them to catch on. If you are small to medium-sized business, you can create their own hashtags, too. Make your hashtags as original or unique as possible so that you aren’t accidentally stepping into an existing conversation.
10. Use Polite Etiquettes
Be polite. When using hashtags, observe the hashtag etiquette on twitter. Twitter’s best practices suggest that you not use more than two hashtags in the tweet, because this can dilute their usefulness for other users, and make it a royal pain in the behind to read for others.