Using Hashtags – how to build more conversations & buzz around your business

Now that Facebook has now brought in hashtags they are basically across all social media channels – Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Instagram. So there are some tips on how and why to use them in your posts.
Make sure you hashtag is the hashtag you wanted!
Hashtags start with a #, is alphanumeric so no spaces – the tag stops at the first space or punctuation.
  • You can have upper and lower cases i.e. #MyBestTag. I think this makes the tag more readable.
  • You can use the underscore “_” for spaces i.e. #My_Best_Tag. By using the underscore you are making the tag longer.
Keep your hashtag short 
Make  it easy for users to remember your hashtag – including the spelling! Stats show that concise hashtags are more effective than long ones especially as you will want to keep them consistent across all channels. With Twitter restricted to 140 characters your hashtags need to be short
Unique hashtag names
You need to differentiate yourself from your competitors. Unless your joining specific conversations avoid general hashtags i.e. #jobs or #hot. These sort of hashtags are too broad to relate conversations directly to your business.
Promote your hashtag
If you have a range of hashtags you use then promote it. You will see broadcasters do this so why shouldn’t you. Add them to your promotional material, website, blog etc.
Associate your hashtag to competitions (you will see this on Instagram all the time), events, feedback, comment etc. Anything that allows people to engage with you one way or another.
Do not clutter your hashtags
There is a lot of discussion on how many hashtags you can use in a post, we recommend no more that 3. The more you use the more confusing it can become and increases the potential of diluting the post.
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Best Times to Post on Social Media and an INFOGRAPHIC

Social media is 24/7. Someone is always tweeting, posting on Facebook, or uploading a new picture to Instagram. However, for social media managers and businesses alike, this can be quite of a challenge. We obviously can’t be online all day, even for those of us who are social media managers or strategist. But how do you know when to best reach your audience? There are a couple different ways to determine when your audience is online:

Best Times to Post on Social Media [INFOGRAPHIC] | Social Media Today.

Find location specific with Twitter’s advance search

Twitter now logs the location of Tweets across the world. Next time your are looking for something a little more social – a causual job for instance think about looking at Twitter advanced search. Using a combination of words, hash keys and location you can get quite interesting results.

The URL you want for this is http://search.twitter.com/advanced – most people do not know that Twitter has a search facility – yet alone an advanced one.

Keywords and Hash Keys

The use of  words and hashtags allows you to search for quite specific things.  The best thing to do is to experiment with this.

If you want more than one hash key to be included then list them with spaces i.e  “job jobs”.

To search for jobs in restaurants, for example, you would use

“All of these words” = restaurant

“This hash tag” = job jobs

Make sure you select your language.

Selecting a Place

When selecting a place name be sure to add “UK” to it to save on abiguity so just “Boston” will give you the USA but “Boston UK” will, not surprisingly, give you the UK.

Twitter does understand counties ie “Cambridgeshire” but do not combine place county and country ie “Cambridge Cambridgeshire UK” – Twitter does not understand this. Use “Cambridge UK” or “Cambridge Cambridgeshire”

It is important to remember that this is the location the tweet was written.

Finally

You would hope that a product like Hootsuite & Tweetdesk would support this search method but it appears they dont – I am sure this will change.

If you are trying to monitor activity for a local pub, lets say called “The Queens Head” you want to make sure that you are looking at a local one and not one in Aberdeen (if there are any) – Twitter Advanced Search can be very useful.