HOW TO Use Twitter Hashtags for Small Business

HASHTAGYou may already be using hashtags in your tweets, but are you getting all you can out of them? Twitter users attach hashtags to tweets as search mechanisms, categorizing tools and marketing tactics, which can all be applied to small business.  Follow these five tips to improve your brand's hashtag strategy with Twitter hashtags for small business.

  1. Seek Business-Specific Conversations If you use Twitter for nothing else, use it to learn from others.  Head to hashtags like #SMB or #smallbiz for advice, resources and current news of the small business variety.  Although broad hashtags like these can generate an overwhelming number of tweets every day, tune in every so often for a quick update.  A couple of scrolls down the feed could inspire your next blog post or marketing tactic.
  2. Keep it Simple and Consistent When crafting hashtags for your own tweets, it's important to keep a couple rules of thumb in mind.  First, keep your hashtags simple and direct.  In a tweet about your latest blog post, which explains your company's use of finance apps, don't create a long, complex hashtag.  Pair the tweet with hashtags like #apps and #smallbiz, versus #SmallBusinessAppsAndTools.  Secondly, don't weigh your tweets down with excessive hashtags.  Seven hashtags reads like desperate marketing and is a sure way to lose followers.
  3. Create Your Own Hashtag Brands both large and small choose to create their own hashtags for several reasons.  Hashtags are a great way to generate buzz around a marketing campaign. Screen shot 2013-10-09 at 12.38.54 PM Turn to Twitter when launching a contest, another great marketing tactic for your brand.  Simply ask people to tweet with a specific hashtag when they submit ideas, jokes or photos.  That way, when the entry period is over, you'll be able to easily locate submissions in one place.  Events are also great opportunities for creating conversation around hashtags.  Give your event a unique hashtag well before the actual date; you'll be able to generate content and discussion about the event before it even begins.  Then during the event, encourage participants to tweet with that hashtag.  People in attendance both physically and via the web will be able to follow interesting activities and discussion.
  4. Organize Social Dashboards by Hashtag One of the most convenient ways to stay on top of relevant hashtags is to designate easily accessible columns within your social dashboard.  Consider adding a small-business themed hashtag column to check whenever you have a moment.  Add further columns as they become relevant, for example, when you launch a hashtag marketing campaign.
  5. Take Advantage of Follow Friday The Follow Friday trend has taken off with the hashtag #FollowFriday, more commonly shortened to #FF.  #FF is a great excuse for your small business to join the conversation and get its name out there.  You can create a list of great people to follow and squeeze as many Twitter handles into one tweet with the hashtag #FF.  Or you can create lists with a theme - the best foodies to follow, the best political analysts, activists, comedians, etc.

How are you using Twitter hashtags for small business?  Share your ideas in the comment box below.