If you’re on Twitter you’ve undoubtedly seen the # symbol floating around attached to words or phrases. In the Twitterverse, that creates the social media platform’s unmistakable “hashtag.” While they seem easy to use, you might have wondered how best to leverage them for your business’ tweets. If so, keep reading to learn how to use them effectively.
What’s a #Hashtag?
To review for those who are unfamiliar or unsure, a hashtag is a word or phrase immediately preceded by a # symbol. In Twitter’s early days, they were primarily used to categorize tweets by topic, allowing other users to search for the hashtag and see similarly tagged tweets.
Today, the hashtag still has its original purpose but has evolved into something more. Users are now using them for humor, play on words, and even poetry. For businesses, they also offer valuable metadata to tweets, letting others know #whatthetweetisabout. Now that we’re caught up to speed on the hashtag, let’s cover effective ways to use them.
#Hashtag Tips for Business
Hashtags can and should be incorporated into any business’ social media strategy. Mashable and Small Business Trends recommend using them for organizing tweets and plugging a product. This encourages your followers to know and also use your specific hashtags.
Whether starting new or looking to tune up your Twitter program, consider the following five best practices for optimizing tweets with hashtags:
1. Create a Hashtag. You can create your own business-oriented hashtags to emphasize events, products, keywords and more. If you tweet out news, tips or problems that relate to a product, don’t be afraid to end it with a mention of #YourProduct.
2. Jump into Conversations. If a popular hashtag is trending, go ahead and use it to tie to your business or product. However, practice caution about jumping into conversations about sensitive topics, such as politics or disasters.
3. Categorize your Tweets. If you’re tweeting a lot, you may want to include a regular hashtag on topics you tweet about frequently. This helps other users follow these keywords and see a list of them by clicking on your hashtag.
4. Keep it Simple. Avoid long and complex hashtags. Instead, opt for something that others can easily adopt themselves, like the name of a #NewProduct.
5. Don’t Overload Tweets with Hashtags. While hashtags might have their advantages, too many can clutter your message. #You #wouldn’t #want #to #read #something #like #this #would #you?
With these tips, start experimenting with hashtags and measure your results. Over time you’ll get a feel for what works best for your business.