Are you stuck in a rut with your Twitter marketing? It may be time to take a step back and look at your use (or lack thereof) of hashtags.
There’s no denying the power of hashtags on Twitter. This image from the Buffer blog sums up quite nicely just how powerful hashtags are:
Twice as much engagement for tweets with hashtags versus those without? That’s a lot!
But if you don’t want to double your engagement or typing a few extra characters seems like too much work, feel free to stop reading now.
Still with me? Perfect! Let’s take a look at 5 ways to use hashtags to boost your Twitter marketing.
Interest hashtags are simply generic hashtags that are topic related. Using these hashtags is a fantastic way to expand your reach past your followers to other users interested in what you’re talking about.
Believe it or not, people really do search hashtags for content. There are even tools that will automatically retweet tweets with certain hashtags. While I would never set up that kind of automation for my account (I have no idea what ELSE is in the tweet and people get weird with hashtags), I certainly don’t mind when others do and I benefit.
I sense I’m going to hear it from the anti-automation crowd who would prefer not to be retweeted at all versus getting an automated retweet. For me, however, if it’s helps spread my message to even a few more people, bring it on – automate the heck out of me!
This isn’t rocket science but you do want to pick your hashtags strategically. Pick a hashtag that’s used a lot but not abused. For me, a marketer and blogger, #ContentMarketing is a great hashtag for a lot of the tweets I send out.
Also, take into consideration all aspects of your Tweet when choosing hashtags. At Social Quant, we published a post, 21 All Star Twitter Marketing Accounts You Need to Follow, and I tweet it out with multiple images of the feature accounts.
Depending on the image I use, I change up the hashtags to best match the audience.
For instance, when I tweet this out with Gary Vanyerchuck’s image, I use #Entrepreneurs and #Startups.
But for the same tweet with Rebekah Radice’s image, I use #ContentMarketing and #SocialMediaMarketing.
Choose your interest hashtags well and you’ll see a ton more reach and engagement on your tweets.
A branded hashtag is a great way to amplify your message. Take Ted Rubin for example. He branded the #RonR (Return on Relationship) hashtag.
That’s the core of Ted’s message on Twitter, summed up perfectly in his pinned tweet.
By consistently spreading this message and using the hashtag for years, he has built a community around it. When anyone clicks on that hashtag, it will bring up a stream of content all about Ted’s message.
Imagine having something similar for your brand.
Also, you can set up monitoring of your branded hashtag to easily find accounts that are using it and connect with them. Set up a column in Tweetdeck with your branded hashtag and engage with the people using it. The message will spread and start a snowball effect when done well.
Similar to branded hashtags but more focused. We do this at Social Quant with our #TMTSChallenge hashtag that goes along with our 14-Day Twitter Marketing That Sells Challenge.
As part of the challenge, each month we have a contest participants can enter by tweeting about the Challenge. This definitely helps spread the word that the Challenge is out there. And if one were to click on the hashtag, there’s a ton of social proof of people who are loving it.
And, again, monitor your campaign hashtags and engage with the people using it. It’s a great way to provide value and foster relationships.
As you can see below, Mike Kawula, the CEO of Social Quant personally responds to these tweets, creating great engagement for the brand:
Event hashtags are for, you guessed it, special events and typically short-lived. That said, event hashtags are one of the best ways to find great people to connect with on Twitter.
Find out what events your target audience is likely to attend and start monitoring the hashtag that goes with it.
Social Media Marketing World, put on by Social Media Examiner, is the biggest, baddest social media conferences there is. Held in March, the #SMMW17 hashtag is still active as of this writing at the end of May!
If you want to connect with social media marketers, this hashtag is gold.
Plus, if you’re attending an event, see who’s tweeting about it and start building relationships before the event on Twitter and then hook up in real life at the conference. Relationships built this way and continued on Twitter are amazing!
Finally, check out what’s trending on Twitter and jump on that bandwagon for some added exposure.
In truth, trending hashtags are mostly for fun. But, if it works for your Twitter account, it’s okay to have fun with tweets. As we all know from The Shining, “All work and no play makes [your Twitter account] a dull boy.”
If you put out a clever tweet on a trending hashtag, you can get a lot of exposure for your brand.
But, for the love of Buddha, be careful with trending hashtags! They can often get you into a lot of trouble if you’re careless.
First of all, make sure you understand what the trending hashtag is actually about. They’re not always what they seem.
Entenmann’s famously made this mistake when #notguilty was trending and they tweeted this:
Unfortunately, #notguilty was in reference to the backlash of Casey Anthony being acquitted of murdering her child. A quick click of the hashtag to view the conversation could have saved Entenmann’s a great deal of embarrassment.
So, as you can see, hashtags are a great way to expand your reach, gain exposure and make connections on Twitter. Adding those little gems to your tweets only takes a second and can make a big difference in your Twitter marketing efforts.
Now on to you. How do you use hashtags on Twitter? Are there any ways I neglected to mention that are working for you? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below!