It’s proven: your tweets will get more attention if you use hashtags. Hashtags help you reach people who aren’t following you. Research shows that tweets with more than one hashtag are 55% more likely to be retweeted.
Hashtags are what you use in Twitter to get your tweet read by those interested in a particular topic. A hashtag can be several words strung together (similar to a key phrase) or just one word. For example #SocialSelling and #sales. I use those in my own tweets: people who follow me and are interested in the topic as well as those who don’t follow me will find my tweet in their feed. Your keywords are what are found by search engines. To keep things simple for those who are just starting out and are not social media marketing pros, I recommend just using the same terms for both, omitting your hash and putting in spaces for your keywords or SEO terms. For this example, my keywords are Social Selling and Sales. A Marketing SEO expert will have their own special paid tools to go deep on keyword terms and find a lot more detail on usage of specific terms when they want to use them for paid search. For our purposes, we are just looking for some attention by our target audience.
How do you figure out where to start? Think of one basic word that you use in your article or post and do a search for it on Twitter or using a specialized tool. Make sure you use the “hash” symbol # when you do this. It is recommended that you use 1 – 3 hashtags per tweet. More and it gets hard to read and is received poorly by readers. If you are posting on LinkedIn Pulse, they’ll ask you for 3 keywords at the bottom of the form when you submit.
To find terms quickly, I use Topsy, a free tool. Topsy lets you search for either a phrase or a hashtag. Type in your term and it basically tells you how popular it is and who’s using it. A good trick is to also skim recent posts that contain your primary word and you can pick up related terms you might want to use. Put your next one in Topsy and see what happens. I keep a list by my computer of all the terms that perform well for me as a helpful quick reference when I am settin up tweets.
Other useful hashtag tools that have some free functionality:
Tagdef – a wonderful tool for Twitter newbies learning the Twittersphere shorthand – Tagdef is dictionary for hashtag acronyms
Hashtags.org – gives you charts on trends as well as a list of recent Tweets that include that hashtag
Trendsmap – shows trends by region
These helpful tools will give you a good start in finding hashtags for your social selling.
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