Guide to Twitter Hash Tag
The Twitter hash tag is appearing all over the place now. At the start of your favourite programme, for example, you’ll probably see something like “#HIGNFY” (that would be the Twitter hash tag for one of my favourite programmes”. When you type the has tag into Twitter, it lets you immediately jump to everything containing that term on the social media feed.
The advantage of Twitter Hash Tag
The advantage for business is obvious. Once you have persuaded a customer or client to type your hash tag into Twitter, he or she is immediately exposed to all the streams dealing with your business, your products and your overall market or market presence. Furthermore, by entering one of your hash tags, that person will become associated with you in the social media stream – another follower, with potentially hundreds of further followers following them.
Anyway, we all know how social media works – as outlined very briefly above – but how do we use the hash tag to attract the right kind of attention? In other words, how do you use Twitter hash tags to develop the exposure of your business, create more fans and followers, and generate your own long term links for the search engines?
The first thing to say is that your Twitter hash tag will only get you massive exposure if the tag itself is particularly memorable and/or funny; or if a Tweet that has been tagged with it goes viral. Hash tags create trends simply by virtue of the fact that everything tagged with your hash tag is “about” the same topic – but viral successes only happen when there is something in the tag or the Tweet that grabs the attention.
So content is your first priority here. Developing quality Twitter content is practically impossible because of the character imit. In order to use hash tags to direct users and followers to content they will remember, engage with and want to spread to their friends, then, you need the Twitter conversation itself to be about something else – as in the case of TV programmes, which I used at the start of this post.
A TV programme is its own content – so when it has a hash tag, it is allowing its existing fans to enhance their experience of that content by developing conversations about it on Twitter. In whatever format your own content is delivered – whether it is also your product, as is the case with TV, literature and music; or whether it is distributed content intended to provide information about your industry – the hash tag is there to perform the same function. It lets your fans go somewhere definitive to talk about the content you have provided.
As such, the end use for a business of the Twitter hash tag is in making Tweet analysis more efficient. By delivering a way for your followers to enhance their consumption of your content, you also create a place you can go to, to easily research their response to you. You can research conversations that spring from your hash tag and you can research the social graph of the people who use it.
Every social media user has a graph – information including his or her biographical data; business; job title; membership of other feeds, streams and social circles; and any other pertinent demographic information he or she has entered when joining Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. So when you research users who are inserting your hash tag, you can analyse the demographic that is being attracted by your content.
Analysis allows you to refine your Twitter and social media campaigns so that you either hit the demographic you were going for, or shift your market position to account for unexpected demographic attention from sectors you were not aiming at in the first instance.
Of course your hash tag campaign needs a way of gaining exposure – you need people to use the hash tag otherwise it won’t work. That means including it in your content and your other social media incarnations. Put it at the end of all readable content you create on the web and make sure that it is included in your logo for any apps.