5 tips to make #hashtags work for your #business

Things have moved on in the ever-evolving world of social media since the very first hashtag was created by Chris Messina (it was #barcamp, by the way). Millions of us now see hashtags as the first place to find information on the latest news and events on a global scale. Indeed, Twitter is used in this way as a primary source for news stations the world over.

If you work in marketing, you’ll know the importance of the hashtag. Hashtags are also a pretty efficient way of keeping up with the latest hot topics in your sector, new abbreviations and trending invented words. And, if you’re short ideas when creating your social media content, you can also find inspiration by choosing from a list of trending or common hashtags.

While it may be clear how the hashtag can be used in social circles or in B2C marketing, the power of the hashtag should not be overlooked by businesses with a primarily B2B focus. Hashtags can enable B2B marketers to
– develop a thought leadership position on the latest industry issues
– get your message across to the media who are increasingly using digital channels to source news
– engage with your target audience at industry events
– contextualize your online communications

Tweets that include a hashtag and a hyperlink generate the highest engagement levels, so here are our top tips for using this handy little effective symbol:
• Use hashtags wisely. Studies show that tweets with one or two hashtags have 21% higher engagement than those with three or more hashtags.
• Don’t put a bunch of words together in one hashtag – Something like #doireallyhavetogotothegymtoday may make sense to you, but to everyone else it is a jumbled mess that will just confuse your audience
• Do hashtag words or phrases that truly resonate with your audience rather than piggybacking on irrelevant keywords just because they are trending in an attempt to maximise reach. Take a look at hashtagify.me to choose the most appropriate hashtags for your chosen topic or audience.
• Do use the set hashtags for any events you may be attending to ensure your posts get picked up by other delegates.
• Do try out new hashtags to see how your audience responds. Once you know what works, stick at it!

When used correctly, hashtags are a great way to maximise the reach of your tweets. Just remember to keep them simple, specific and sparse.

Don’t forget, you can also #follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook to see how we use #hashtags ourselves, or get in touch for further social media advice at info@kapleronline.com