Using Social Media for Your Small Business Marketing but not hashtags?  

Here is a quick rundown to get you started with social media hashtags and how they can help your online marketing:

How to Use Hashtags for your marketing

Think of it as a SEO tool for social media.

A hashtag can immediately increase your presence in Twitter searches for that word and also categorise your tweets and drive targeted traffic to you.  Tweets with hashtags also receive 2 x more engagement.

Twitter recommends two hashtags per tweet, and best practice says don’t spam your post with hashtags galore, instead use them in moderation.

A hashtag is a symbol (#) used to mark topics and/or keywords in any particular tweet:

The hashtag symbol typically prefaces a keyword or phrase that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. For example, if you were discussing cookie recipes, you’d add in the hashtag #cookies, #recipes or #cookierecipes. Twitter’s hashtags are in place to allow people to easily find and track their tweets, allowing the tweets themselves to easily appear within Twitter’s search results pages. Twitter hashtags can be placed anywhere within a tweet, whether it’s the beginning, middle or the end.

A simple way to understand the power of the hashtag is to click on any of the trending topics on Twitter.  You will immediately see a list of all tweets relating to that hashtag.  For a complete rundown on how to use hashtags follow this simple guide on WikiHow or read on: http://www.wikihow.com/Use-Hashtags-With-Twitter

3 key marketing strategies for hashtags are:

  • brand and campaign specific
  • trending
  • content

1. Brand and Campaign Hashtags:

This is using your name or brand as a hashtag (it could also be a product).  #GetOnlineAustralia for instance.  KitKat are a great example of a company that use the brand hashtag with their #have a break campaign, they consistently use it on all their social sites from Twitter to Google+. Their consumers know their brand hashtag, and they use it to engage with the social KitKat community.  Just search for #haveabreak on a social media platform to see examples or visit their site.

Now, your small business might not drive the same level of customer engagement as KitKat, but think of using a brand or campaign hashtag in a competition.  One of the most popular forms of this is asking people to enter a photo competition by asking them to upload a photo with a specific hashtag such as the #australianlife hashtag which formed the backbone of a competition for the City of Sydney.

2. Trending Hashtags

Trending hashtags are like 15 minute of fame.  If a hashtag is trending there is a massive audience searching for or talking about a particular topic.  This can be a natural disaster or a campaign like #illridewithyou which followed the Sydney Siege.  If you post a relevant piece of content and use the tag you can potentially expose your post to a very large audience.

There are also lots of resources that you can get more in-depth trending and popular tag opportunities. Check out:

  • Hashtags.org  – You can find trending, declining and constant trends, as well as metrics about your social brand.
  • Statigram  –  You can search for Instagram hashtags trends and get alternatives for hashtag words, so you can choose the most popular tags.
  • Trendsmap –  This site gives you a visual map to see geographic hashtag trends. As a local business, this is a great way to quickly know what’s trending in your area.

3. Content hashtags

These relate to the content in your post for instance: #marketing #smallbusiness #seo

Content hashtags improve the SEO of your posts.  What this means is that if people are searching for content related to a topic you tag, then they may find you.  That can be very handy.  In some ways you can think of them as keywords for social media!

 

Sources: huffingtonpost.com, infooomph.com and socialcaffeine.com, wishpond.com