How to use #Hashtags Properly

Enter the world of Twitter and you will experience a typhoon of hashtags –  #sohappy, #quoteoftheday, http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-follow-us-hashtag-image37623850#besteventever, #justhashtaganything

The aim of a hashtag is to enable people to search for tweets that have a relevant theme.  Used properly, hashtags can be a very powerful marketing tool to drive customers back to your site or to find out more about your business. But if #you #hashtag #everything your #audience will #switch off!

So, how do you make sure you are using hashtags as effectively as possible?

Target your audience

Like all marketing, think about who you are talking to and what you want to tell them.  The nature of a hashtag means it’s not really for your current readers, it’s for the audience that stumbles on you when they click your hashtag.  So using hashtags that are specific to your business, services or products is a good place to start.

Less is More

It’s become the norm to put a # in front of a word to highlight it or make people take notice.  But for business purposes this is not helpful. Hashtags are great for organising and directing people to information but a barrage of hashtags will make your audience glaze over.  It’s like being stuck in a shop with an over keen sales assistant that won’t give you the opportunity to browse.  The guide is only use one or two hashtags in any post and don’t use them in all your updates.

Test your hashtags

You can test your hashtags on Facebook, to make sure you are taking your visitors where you want them to go. Start by setting your status update setting to ‘Only Me’.   Then create some hashtags that you are planning on using in an update and publish them.  Next, click to see where these hashtags take you.  You can then delete these when you are finished.

So, embrace the hashtag – it can be very effective. It’s like drawing a map for new customers to make sure they take the best possible route to arrive at your offices. But remember, they are only beneficial if used properly.  Sending customers round the houses first is not going to win you any friends or new business.  Too many hashtags and you run the risk of losing your captive audience. #usehashtagswisely

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  • About the Author

    It’s my job to look strategically at our clients’ goals for their brand and then apply my knowledge of PR, the media and online communities to make sure that we deliver. The part of my job that I enjoy most is being able to provide a fresh perspective for our clients – and uncovering the best way to raise the profile of their brand. I also love keeping up to date with the ever changing nature of PR.

    Before setting up the business, I worked both in-house and agency-side doing PR in the education and telecoms sectors. I split my time between France and the UK and so I can often be found at airports smuggling cheddar cheese into the land of camembert.

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