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Why & How to Use Hashtags

You Need to Use Hashtags!

HashtagOn a LinkedIn discussion last week started by Paul Guzman, I got some really good information about something I didn’t think I needed, but now I do! I thought I’d better share so you can use these hashtags too.  Here is the info from the LinkedIn contributors:

From Brandon Schaefer, CEO at 90DayEntrepreneur.com:

What’s the Deal With All the Hashtags?

Brandon Schaefer

Brandon Schaefer

You see them all over the place: on TV commercials; on TV shows; on billboard signs; on cardboard shipping boxes; and everywhere else that you can imagine. Why are they so prevalent in today’s world? I’ll jump into further detail in the paragraphs below. As usual, if my mom isn’t able to understand what in the world I’m talking about, I’m going too far in depth, so I’m going to keep it simple and sweet.

What’s the Simple Definition of a Hashtag?

A hashtag is a word or phrase that starts with the # sign.

What Does a Hashtag Actually Do? 

Hashtags provide a way for people to search and group similar messages together. For example: #London allows people and businesses to search for any conversations that people are participating in about London.

What Networks Do Hashtag Searches Work On?

The primary social media channels supported are: Twitter; Instagram; Facebook; Google+; Pinterest; Tumblr; Flickr; and Vine. Things are changing all the time, so by the time you read this article, another few networks may have been added. If you know of one, drop me a note in the comments and I’ll be sure to update the article.

How Does a Hashtag Benefit a Business?

Hashtags

Hashtags are like dialing into a radio station – Dan Mazzini

Hashtags benefit businesses because they can simply post a hashtag, then search for the hashtag of interest, and immediately engage with customer conversations in real time. For example: I am an employee of Porsche and I want to see what type of chatter is going on via the web about our new model. I’d simply search #porsche911 and I’d immediately see who is talking about our new model.

How Does a Hashtag Benefit a Consumer?

Hashtags give the consumer an edge on staying up to date with the latest conversations as well. For example: you’re a Dallas Cowboys fan and you want to get pumped up before a game and get involved in real time conversations with people that love the Dallas Cowboys as well. All you’d need to do is search for the hashtag #dallascowboys and jump in on the conversation.

How Can I Do a Hashtag Search Myself? 

There are currently a few services: Tagboard.com; Hashtagify.me; and Hashtags.org. My personal favorite choice thus far is TagBoard.com, it’s simple, easy, and effective.

Important Tips: 
Hashtags are definitely trending and I don’t think the explosion of use has actually occurred yet. For businesses looking to use hashtags, here are a few simple tips:

  • be consistent with the hashtags you use;
  • search for live conversations pertaining to your specific hashtag, and get engaged in the conversations; and
  • only use a maximum of two hashtags in any social media post.

Dan Mazzini

 

From Dan Mazzini, Creator of hashtagify.me, founder at CyBranding:

Hashtags can be used in many different ways, but it helps to think about them as radio stations. Like those radios where the audience can call and add to the discussion, and everybody else can listen. But with the difference that nobody can stop anybody else from entering the conversation – there is no real host here.

So, if you want to follow a station, for example #smm, you can just select that channel by searching it on Twitter (or some other social medium). Or use tagboard, as Brandon said. If you want to add to the conversation, write something and include the hashtag. If you want to find which stations are relevant for you, you can use hashtagify.me (full disclosure: I’m the creator of this one)

Tish Breseno

 

From Tish Briseno, WordPress Website Design and Trainer:

Hashtags are used to categorize your content, allowing other people to find them.  Example: By adding a #quote to a social media post, I am telling other people that my content is a quote, so that those searching for quotes can easily find my quote as well.

 

From Paul Chatterton, Co-Founder of talkingholistic.com:

Paul Chatterton

To add to the 2 posts by Brandon and Dan which are really informative, Twitter has a search engine that lets you perform advanced searches, including on hashtags. The advanced version of Twitter’s search engine can help you to monitor conversations on a subject (Social Listening) and join in. For example if you visit https://twitter.com/search-advanced and enter ‘Porsche’ in the ‘These hashtags’ box and check the ‘Question?’ box you can tune into all the questions Twitter users are tweeting about Porsche cars. You then have the chance to engage and answer a few questions.

There are many other variables in Twitter Advanced Search you can combine with the hashtags search option (e.g Location) which can help you to tune into the conversations taking place on Twitter that are relevant to your business. By experimenting with hashtags on Twitter Advanced Search with terms relevant to you it really helps to get a feel of their use and potential.

Thanks to these excellent people – Brandon, Dan, Tish, and Paul –  for sharing their time and knowledge —
won’t you please share with your friends by tapping one of the buttons below?

If you’d like to read more articles like this:

Help with Yelp – Yelp FAQ’s
Web Words that you really MUST Know
Pros and Cons of Using The Cloud

 

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