Considering Twitter’s popularity and large user base, it is no surprise the social networking site has become a valuable tool for businesses. Twitter allows brands to create an account and join worldwide conversations in which they can connect with potential customers.
One of Twitter’s most powerful conversation tools is the hashtag. Hashtags serve as a method for cataloguing Tweets and are a tool vital to any business’ Twitter strategy.
People who are unfamiliar with Twitter may look at Twitter conversations and see certain terms with the pound symbol in front of them. Phrases with this symbol may seem strange if you don’t know Twitter lingo, but they serve a very important purpose in the world of social media.
Placing a hashtagged term in a Tweet will signal Twitter to bookmark your Tweet along with every other Tweet using the same hashtag. This catalogue of Tweets can be thought of as a conversation stream in which users utilize a certain hashtag to get their Tweet compiled with every other Tweet featuring this hashtag. From there, users can discover what other people are saying about a particular topic and continue to develop the conversation.
For individual users, hashtags present themselves as a means for adding their two cents to global conversations. For businesses, hashtags serve as a tool for getting their content noticed by the public.
Hashtags as a Business Tool
From a business perspective, hashtags can be utilized to gain brand recognition and promote an organization. Product names, special events and the brand name itself are all examples of hashtags to include in your company’s content marketing scheme.
For example, if your company sells dovetailers, then this product name can be turned into a hashtag by simply adding the pound symbol within a particular tweet. This will allow people to see what others are saying about your product and offer an avenue for joining the conversation.
Another opportunity for brands to get themselves discovered on Twitter is to take advantage of trending hashtags in their Twitter content. Trending hashtags are hashtags currently being used at a high volume in a particular location. When big events take place or viral news breaks, this tends to be reflected in the hashtags trending on Twitter.
An example would be the hashtag “#NBAFinals” trending during the National Basketball Association playoffs, or the hashtag “#PresidentialDebate” trending during the presidential debates. Hashtags of this nature reflect the most popular topics currently being discussed on Twitter.
As for incorporating trending hashtags into your own Tweets, taking advantage of viral news, pop culture and big events are all examples of ways to join the global conversation. A creative example of this strategy was NASA’s recent use of the popular “#BlackFriday” hashtag. While NASA doesn’t actually have anything to do with Black Friday, their social media team found a clever way to join the conversation with this Tweet: “For retail, it’s #BlackFriday. For us, it’s #BlackHoleFriday. Today, we’ll post info & images all about black holes.”, as cited by Simply Measured. This Tweet serves as an excellent example of the way companies can leverage popular hashtags to promote their business and content.
Hashtags.org serves as a tool allowing you to further study and analyze trending hashtags. This site generates lists of current trending hashtags, allows you to measure hashtag use and serves as a brainstorming tool for developing your own brand-specific hashtags. Hashtags.org also features numerous articles and tips for using social media in your marketing strategy.
Hashtags present themselves as a conversational tool on Twitter. For businesses, taking advantage of trending hashtags is a great strategy for gaining brand awareness and contributing to viral conversations.