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What is a hashtag and what can it do for you? #JackIsBack

  • 25th April 201425/04/14
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When we’re giving Twitter training one thing we’re commonly asked about is hashtags.  What are they? What do they do? How can you use them to your advantage?

Most people will have by now heard of a hashtag, even if you’re unsure as to what they are or how to use them.  The fact that you know about them means that they’re widely used and they can benefit businesses across Devon and Cornwall in creating buzz around a topic, event or subject and by increasing the potential reach of your tweets.

An example using television programme 24: #JackIsBack

The American television series 24 is returning to screens for another series after four years away.  In anticipation of the return the studio has been busy releasing trailers, promotional information, all carefully released with the hashtag #JackIsBack

So why the use of a hashtag? What’s it doing for them?

If I sent a tweet about my excitement of the programme returning, the initial potential reach of my tweet is the number of followers I have.

If I had 100 followers that tweet, without a hashtag, would be able to reach 100 people.

It that message is then re-tweeted it has the potential to reach their followers in addition to my own followers.

The more it is re-tweeted the more potential reach you have.

So what happens if I add #JackIsBack to the tweet?

It will now be able to reach my 100 followers, any potential re-tweeters followers and the doubtless thousands of people talking about the television programme (they’ll be able to find the tweet by searching or clicking on the hashtag).

Hashtags are designed to bring people together around areas of interest, topics of debate and other events where there is a conversation to be had.

If you search for the hashtag #JackIsBack on Twitter then you’ll see all of the tweets surrounding that topic and you’ll be able to interact with others and discuss it.

What the studio is doing is brining together all of the fans in one place.  There’s more promotional pull if people are all talking in the same place than separately so they’re using social media to create buzz in anticipation of that first episode.

When people talk about it they promote it, they share content and it becomes that much more viral.

So how can you use a hashtag?

Think of conversations you can not only begin but also get involved with.  There’s often no need to re-invent the wheel so if the hashtag is there and already generating tweets, get involved with the conversation and don’t feel like you need to create a new one.

Identify hashtags that are going to be of benefit to your business.  What is it that your customers are talking about, how can you find them, how can you promote your business and your part of the world?

The possibilities of hashtags are endless so why not try using them to further your reach and social media gain?

For more information on how we can help your social media presence through management and training please give us a call on 01566 784860 or by emailing hello@mihidigital.co.uk

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