Blog & Company News

Apr 2, 2013

Make Hashtags Work for Your Small Business

It feels like for a long time, no one was quite sure how hashtags worked. Even if the basic idea was understood (hashtags are ways to categorize posts and link them in with the bigger conversation on that #topic), many businesses on Twitter weren’t exactly certain about which uses and hashtag strategies would truly result in increased traffic and engagement. Well, we have a few clever ideas:
  • Follow relevant hashtags
    • A good starting point is to amass a collection of hashtags that pertain to subjects of interest to your company and its customers. You can go about this by seeing what your competitors and contacts are tweeting about, or by searching keywords. It shouldn’t take much digging to figure out what the hot topics in your market are. Following these hashtags will present you with the chance to respond and retweet other people, insert yourself into industry-relevant dialogue, and increase your reach on Twitter.
  • Create your own hashtag
    • If you are able to create a hashtag that ends up catching on and becoming popular, it’s a big win in the Twitter game. To do this effectively, make your hashtag something that makes sense for your company and market, but also incites people to respond and play along. For example, if you own a furniture business, try #MyCollegeCouchWas, and watch your followers (and their followers, and so on) reply with likely hilarious remembrances of their furniture from their college days. You’ll be broadening your audience and appealing to people’s sentimentality – both great for branding. Plus, your intra-office brainstorming session on possible hashtags to create will undoubtedly be a good time by itself.
  • Start a contest
    • People can’t get enough of a good giveaway, and Twitter is a great forum for conducting a contest. Insert your chosen hashtag into the contest announcement Tweet, and have your followers use that hashtag as a way to enter to win. Example for, say, a winery: “What is your #FavoriteSummerWine? Answer to win 3 free bottles!”
  • Use them to cut corners
    • Let’s be real: the most challenging thing about Twitter is trying to get your message across in 140 characters or less. Hashtags can be a great way to categorize your tweets and help you save space. For instances, “small business” is frequently abbreviated as #SMB. Boom – you just inserted yourself into that hashtag’s feed and opened yourself up to being able to actually say more with that Tweet.
  • Don’t go overboard
    • There is such a thing as too much of a smart thing, and this holds true for hashtags. You’ll frequently see tweets with a frantically high volume of hashtags, and while it might result in that tweet popping up in more people’s feeds, the actual content value is drastically decreased. So use hashtags, but be timely and have purpose.