Assuming you have a Twitter account dedicated to your business, you should also be investing in hashtags as part of your social media strategy.
But let’s back up a bit, in case you’re unsure what a hashtag is. Designated by a number sign (#), the hashtag is paired with a word or phrase to perform a variety of functions. Twitter users attach hashtags to tweets as search mechanisms, categorizing tools and marketing tactics.
In your small business’ case, you may choose to attach a hashtag, such as #startups, or even your brand’s name itself, as #nike might do. This improves the chance that other Twitter users will find your tweet in targeted Twitter searches. But hashtags also streamline your own processes. For instance, you may ask users to include a unique hashtag in their own tweets as part of your newest Twitter marketing campaign. Throughout your campaign, the hashtag files tweets for easy search and organization within Twitter.com.
Now that you’re familiar with the basic hashtag concept, let’s apply principles specific to small businesses. Follow these five tips to improve your brand’s hashtag strategy.
1. Seek business-specific conversations. If you use Twitter for nothing else, use it to learn from others. Head to hashtags like #SMB or#smallbiz for advice, resources and current news of the small business variety (also follow along during Twitter chats). Although broad hashtags like these can generate an overwhelming number of tweets every day, tune in every so often for a quick update. A couple of scrolls down the feed could inspire your next blog post, marketing tactic or bestseller.
If you seek a more specific conversation, narrow hashtags down by topic. The #marketing hashtag contains a ton of small business-related content, as does #sales. Or take a peek in the #startups or #entrepreneurs hashtag for inspirational profiles in the space. Finally, if you’re looking for tips on meeting like-minded businesspeople, try the #networking hashtag.