First: What are Hashtags?
Twitter Hashtags are created by typing the # sign, followed by a word or phrase (no spaces). For example, if you share a motivational quote in a Tweet, you might want to add a hashtag like this one:
Hashtags are used to group Tweets into categories based on keywords or phrases. All Tweets using the same hashtag show up in Twitter Search results.
Here are two ways to incorporate Twitter hashtags into your small business strategy.
Strategy #1: Use Popular Hashtags
Using popular or trending hashtags will give your Tweets more visibility because of the larger audience already viewing those hashtags. So even if you currently only have 10 Followers, adding a popular hashtag to your Tweet will put that Tweet in front of many users (anyone who searches for that hashtag or phrase).
To start, choose several keywords/hashtags that apply to your industry and begin using them in some of your Tweets. Since my content is focused on social media, I choose hashtags for Twitter, Facebook, Social Media, etc. For example, here is one of my Tweets a with link to my blog post and the hashtag #FacebookTips:
— League Computers (@SocialMediaLCS) April 24, 2014
For example, if your target audience is mompreneurs, here are a few samples of the text used in Tweets found on topsy.com and hashtag.org:
Tweet #1. “Keep up with our #mompreneur members and business tips by following our blog!” (then a link to their blog was included)
Tweet #2. “The book that will bring you home and help you thrive as a #mompreneur” (then a link to their book was shown)
Tweet #3. “5 Tips to keep the kids happy while you work as a #mompreneur” (a sample I just made up that could link to a blog post you’ve written)
Tweet #4. “People with goals succeed because they know where they are going. – Earl Nightingale #mompreneur #quotes” (Find quotes that your audience would like. Notice that I also included the #quotes hashtag. Using more than one hashtag will result in more visibility for your Tweet; just make sure you don’t overdo it. Any more than 2-3 hashtags and your Tweet is difficult to read – and probably too long to ReTweet!)
Strategy #2: Create your Own Hashtag
If you host an event, a Twitter “party” or chat or just want to brand yourself on Twitter, then you may want to create your own hashtag.
For example, the hashtag #MompreneurMoments (which appears to be unique at this moment) could be used in numerous ways to identify your content or chats. If your audience re-tweets your content frequently and your audience grows, you can establish yourself as an authority on that topic.
Use these ideas and create your own hashtag strategy on Twitter. Share helpful content that speaks to your target audience and watch your Twitter community grow.
[updated April 29, 2014]