If you're a Twitter user, you probably use hashtags regularly — and most likely take them for granted.
A hashtag is most commonly used for one of two reasons:
But did you know that using hashtags can help you reach more Twitter followers and gain more followers?
If you're like me, you've probably gotten into a rut as far as hashtags are concerned. I used to use the same half-dozen hashtags or so for each tweet I sent out. That is, if I used a hashtag at all.
Then I realized that, by doing that, I was essentially limiting the amount of people who could discover my tweets. In effect, only my current followers and those who are monitoring the hashtags I use could potentially see my tweets. No wonder the growth of my Twitter followers had plateaued.
When I spent a few minutes to find new hashtags to use, and interspersed them with old favorites, the number of new followers and RTs increased.
Here are specific things you can do to better maximize the power of hashtags in your Twitter marketing:
Take note of what hashtags are being used by influential Tweeters in your industry or market. You can also use websites like hashtags.org, What the Trend, and other tools mentioned here.
Don't get stuck using the same hashtags with each tweet. Monitor your favorite hashtags to see what other hashtags are being used in related tweets.
Before using a new hashtag, make sure you understand the context of its use. A fashion firm committed a serious social media faux pas by using the #Aurora hashtag in a tweet that's completely out of context — suffering a serious backlash.
If you do the research I mentioned above, you'll be less likely to make the same mistake. Don't use a hashtag just because it's trending. Make sure it's relevant to the content of your tweet.
How are you currently using hashtags on Twitter? What can you do to maximize the power of hashtags in your Twitter marketing?
Share your thoughts below.
Lexi Rodrigo is a communication and marketing professional for multimillion-dollar businesses, co-author of Blog Post Ideas: 21 Proven Ways to Create Compelling Content and Kiss Writer's Block Goodbye, and host of "Marketing Insights LIVE!." Connect with Lexi on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.
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