Twitter is a perfect venue for a small business entrepreneur to reach a wide audience. The best way to do that is by using hashtags. But what if you’re a newcomer to Twitter and don’t know what a hashtag is, much less how it works?
Don’t worry, I’ll explain everything:
A hashtag is a keyword marked with a “#” or “hash” sign, hence the name. Twitter keeps track of these hashtags/keywords and groups together tweets that use the same hashtag. Anyone who searches for a specific hashtag will see all tweets that use it.
So if I want people to see my marketing-related tweet, I should include the hashtag #Marketing.
How do I know what hashtag to use?
You have the freedom to create your very own hashtag, but since you’re trying to market your business you should probably stick with hashtags that already have an audience.
Here are some great ways to find out which hashtags you should be using:
Find what others use. Look for other people on Twitter who are in the same field as you and read their tweets. Chances are they’re using hashtags, too.
Find a relevant hashtag, then click on it to see other tweets that have used it, too.
Scan through this list and see if the people on it are the right people you want to talk to (i.e. potential customers). If they are, then take note of the hashtag! You can use it later on when you start releasing your own content.
Search bar. Twitter has a search bar that helps you look for things. If you’ve got an idea for a hashtag and you’re not sure other people are using it, type it in here. You’ll be offered several other possible hashtag options. Scan through these and see if they’ve got a significant audience.
Trending. Lastly, try looking at “Trending” hashtags. These are the most popular hashtags on Twitter at that very moment. Twitter posts a different list of trends per region (like Toronto), which is fantastic if you want to talk to your local audience.
Just be aware that these trends might not be related to your business. That’s okay if you just want to tweet for fun, but be careful about which ones you use for work. Also watch out for hashtags full of competitors. You might be better off looking for another one, if that’s the case.