What You Need to Know About Twitter Hashtags

Did you know that approximately 75-percent of Twitter members use a hashtag when they send out their tweets? The hashtag, which is a pound sign (#) is typically used in conjunction with keywords that help define a Tweet. While it can be an effective market and tracking tool, there are some things you need to know about how and why you should use them:

They can help monitor your visibility. Since Twitter’s platform recognizes the hashtag and actually links to them, they can be useful for monitoring what people are saying about your business and your products. It also is helpful when you want to have a conversation with your customers, since the hashtag makes it easy for people to join in around the conversation.

Advertising and Promotion. You may be using hashtags on Twitter, but have you thought about using them on your other types of advertising? If you’re not including a hashtag in your newsletter or as part of your signature on your emails — maybe you should. As an example, a toy seller might put #Bob’sVintageToys on their newsletter or in their signature line. Buyers can then quickly find you on Twitter and see what items you have or join in any conversations that you might be having with your potential buyers.

Keep It Simple. Remember, hashtags should be short and to the point. It needs to be something that people can easily remember. Plus, since you only get 140 characters on Twitter, you don’t want your hashtag taking up too much of the space. The shorter you can make it — the better.

Promote Your Brand Name. While it gets monotonous to see someone’s company name in every single tweet, using it ever so often can help build a community around your brand and the products that you sell. You can also use this strategy to help with your advertising by encouraging your customers to tweet or retweet your hashtag.

Consider hosting a Tweetchat. Many companies and organizations now host weekly Tweetchats to communicate with their customers and other interested parties. As an example, #smallbizchat is a weekly chat that is geared towards small businesses that are just getting started or have been in business for less than five years.

Avoid using too many hashtags. I tend to see this a lot with people that sell on eBay. Instead of making coherent sentences, they choose to put a tiny url to their item and then use a lot of hashtags to describe the product. While this might work in some cases, it usually just makes the Tweet harder to read and in some cases it is even rather confusing. Limit your hashtags to just a couple of keywords and work instead on writing better and more descriptive sentences using less words.

Register your hashtag. Do you have a memorable hashtag? Did you know that you can actually register a hashtag? Yep, that’s right. Twubs.com not only helps you promote conversations, but it also gives you a branded hashtag landing page.

Avoid using your hashtag to tie to a specific event. While you may think that tying your brand name or product in with an event, such as the Olympics, golfing competition, or other news event will get you extra attention, it can actually harm you if something goes astray. A good example of this is the recent Boston Marathon bombings, which was suppose to be a happy and historic event, but quickly turned into something tragic. If you were promoting a product during that time and using the marathon as a hashtag, your Tweet would have taken on a negative edge that could have been problematic not just for your brand name, but also for your company and sales.

About our Guest Blogger This guest post was contributed by Kat Simpson. Kat is a trusted eCommerce author, speaker, educator, and entrepreneur. Kat Simpson has been a successful eCommerce merchant for over 10 years; is an eBay Education Specialist and Gold Level PowerSeller, as well as a successful Amazon merchant. Currently Kat is the hosts the popular weekly eCommerce Podcast That Kat Radio




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