Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The power of Hashtags

A great article from SearchEnglineLand

Hashtags are the world’s chat room. Where else can you hop on the phone or computer and have an instant, passionate conversation about something that shares a hashtag? When it comes to primetime television, current events, or sports events like the Olympics or the Super Bowl, hashtags allow anyone with a Twitter account to take part in a universal conversation about a group topic.

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Besides TV shows, news, or sports stories, harnessing the power of hashtags can lead to serious exposure and gains for a business or individual.

For example, Sarah Evans of PR Sarah Evans hosts #journchat, a weekly twitter chat using that hashtag for journalists, PR professionals, and bloggers to discuss topics and questions related to the industry.

This weekly “tweet-up” has helped Sarah Evans become a recognized and respected social media and public relations consultant, named as one of Forbes’ 14 Power Women to Follow on Twitter.

Utilizing Evans’ ability to provide a place for journalists, PRs, and bloggers to talk about topics they are passionate about can help businesses create a community for enlightening conversation in the company’s industry.

Larger companies can host tweet-ups with a custom hashtags to answer customer questions. Hashtags not only allow for an easy way for others and those involved to keep track of the conversation, but they also allow more exposure for the hashtag itself—by being included in a user’s tweet, his or her followers will see the hashtag and this may cause them to start participating in the conversation.

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If the hashtag includes the company’s name, this provides name exposure and recognition.

Additionally, if a user RTs a company’s tweet that includes the hashtag as well, the company is not only getting an @ mention, but their hashtag remains visible.

Clearly, making weekly hashtag tweet-ups part of a company’s overall Twitter strategy can help build community and increase social media brand exposure.

Another way to utilize hashtags is in social media campaigns is when running a promotion or contest. Give Twitter users an entry for every tweet they send that includes the hashtag.

Running a non-profit campaign is also a successful way to raise money for causes the company believes in while also gaining @ mentions:

Whether it is hosting a tweet-up, answering customer questions, running a giveaway, or raising money for a good cause, utilizing hashtags can help businesses keep track of conversations, raise brand awareness, and garner ideas from other Twitter members for new products or ideas.

Photos Courtesy of:, Recruiting Reach and @Wonderwall7 (me on Twitter!)

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: Featured | Let's Get Social

About The Author: Kelsey Jones is a social media and search engine marketing manager for VinSolutions in Overland Park, KS, where she helps automotive dealership clients with SMM strategy, SEO and PPC campaign maintenance. She also runs a social media and internet marketing blog, The Social Robot. Follow her on Twitter @wonderwall7. See more articles by Kelsey Jones

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