Your Small Business Can Master the Twitter Hashtag

Posted by: Chris Marentis

Your Small Business Can Master the Twitter Hashtag

Do’s
Don’ts

Have you set up your twitter account yet?  Yes?  You better have if you read our blogs regularly.  Now that you’re all set up, you may be wondering how to conquer the ever elusive hashtag (#).  You have inevitably seen words following a pound sign.  This is called a hashtag.  It allows you to categorize your tweets and track who is talking about your company.  This gives you a better understanding of what generates interest and what your followers are interested in.

The best part about using hashtags is that once you generate different categories, you’re able to use social media tracking tools to monitor and organize your tweets.  Hootsuite is great in providing a very user-friendly dashboard to quickly receive information and use the data to post more effective tweets.

 

We’ve monitored the best tactics for small businesses to employ when using the hashtag.  Here are the top 5 rules your business should follow:

  1. Keep it simple.  This is not the time to bust out your 10th grade vocab book.  You want a keyword that very obviously demonstrates a trend your business is doing.  A good example would be #Sale
  2. Don’t be too broad.  You don’t want a keyword to get lost with the millions of other businesses and users in your category.  For Surefire Social we would want to avoid using #Marketing because it is so general.  The time to use a general hashtag is if you plan on pairing it with a second hashtag.  The tag above would be best tagged with another hashtag.
  3. Don’t be too long.  You don’t want your hashtag to be too long.  You see it often.   People try to cram multiple words together, such as #BigSaleThisWeekendHereAtBobs.  If this is what you are trying to say you should break it up into a few hashtags.  I.e.  #Sale #Weekend #Bob’s
  4. Don’t overuse your hashtags.    You need to see what works and what doesn’t and this means you need to experiment.
  5. Create your own.  This is probably the most important rule to follow- as it will be specific to your business.  For Surefire Social we can use the hashtag #SFS, and then followers will instantly associate this tag with us and will be able to learn about all the latest happenings.

Like all good campaigns, you’re going to want to make sure that you are constantly monitoring your followers and results.  If you don’t know how your viewers are responding to your campaign you can never move forward.  This is standard Internet marketing for local business.  And a word of caution, don’t use a hashtag just to drive attention.  This is a quick way to get followers to stop following. 

Chris Marentis

For nearly three decades, Chris Marentis, Founder and CEO of Surefire Social, has been responsible for driving innovation and sales growth for large media and e-commerce brands as well as start-ups. With a long-history of counseling local businesses about their marketing efforts, Marentis provides insight on what it takes for small businesses to succeed and thrive in today’s evolving digital environment. His notable career includes creating the foundational blueprints for online marketing, e-commerce and content branding for AOL’s Interactive Marketing group, where he served as Senior Vice President. While CEO of Clearspring Technologies, Marentis developed one of the most widely adopted venture-backed Web 2.0 technology platforms. Marentis is a frequent speaker at local digital marketing conferences and a contributor to SMB and technology-focused publications.

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