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.

Making the most of the web content you already have

Too many of us do not make the most of the content we already have on out website and blogs. In my experience this is a mistake so there are some quick tips that could really help.

Look at your analytics and see which of your posts are the most popular – take the top 10 – and then do the following

  1. Run a quick topic analysis to see what is more popular.
  2. Look at any calls to action (CTA) on these pages and make sure they work and are up to date.
  3. Cross link from these pages to other relevant or popular content so that the users starts a discovery path.
  4. Make sure the content on these pages is up to date and correct. Correct this page do not write a new entry.
  5. Ensure the page is optimised correctly – if you change the title make sure the URL does not change. Optimisation may require just adding in a few more keywords (see The trade off between SEO and Website Usability)

You might as well get the content you already have working harder for you.

How to organising and structuring your blog content

Topic and Title
As ideas for blog posts pop into your mind, jot them down. You can come back later and expand it into a full title.

Look at products like Content Idea Generator where you can expand a theme and idea

Body Content 
Add some notes about the body content and the key point you want to say. This is especially useful if you have multiple bloggers in your company. It is essential that the content is connected to the title, is concise and to the point. Be engaging and interesting as possible.

Keywords
Suggest what  keyword or key phrases you are targeting with this post. Blogging plays a major role in driving specific web traffic to your website. Integrate the keywords your company is trying to rank for into your blog posts.

Audience
You know who you want to sell to, but you also need to be sure you’re publishing content targeted to them. Try not to post content  for the sake of it. Make sure each post is something that your target audience will want to read and follow through with.

Call to Action 
Make sure there is a clear call to action that encourages the user to move off social media on into your website. Think about what action you would like the user to do when on your website – so the path of the user is clear.