appeal yet are targeted to specific audiences.
For instance, #newhomes may get lost in a sea
of others using that hashtag, but #newhomes
indallas may attain Goldilocks: just right.
“There is a fine balance between being
broad to appeal to a larger audience,” says
Sloane, “and being specific to attract only
Promote your firm. Enhance your visibility on Twitter and Facebook by applying
the #, for instance, before your company’s
name, promotions, new products/services,
events, special discounts, or key words or
phrases associated with your firm.
“To maximize the effectiveness of
hashtags, they should be aligned with your
overall marketing strategy,” says Parekh. “It
reinforces your message and makes it clearer
Interact with customers. By carefully
selecting hashtags, potential clients can discover your enterprise. For instance, Koyal frequently uses #weddingplanning, a hashtag also
used by many of its commercial customers
and aspiring brides seeking industry information or inspiration. Some of those folks end up
purchasing Koyal products, says Parekh.
Also, monitor customers’ hashtags to
understand overall sentiment about your firm
and perhaps respond to questions and con-
cerns. You might also derive valued customer
feedback from hashtags addressing your
Consider other applications. You could
emerge as a credible “thought leader” by
applying hashtags to critical industry topics
and guiding discussions on Twitter and
Facebook. Or you might choose hashtags that
highlight your firm’s social responsibility or
inviting workplace culture, says Nikki Means,
CEO of Project Socialize, a Cincinnati digital
marketing agency that’s counseled dozens of
organizations on hashtags.
Leverage analytics. After tweeting or
posting your hashtag, monitor data analytics
that tally your reach, which Parekh says
encompasses the total number who read your
content, and engagement, which he says measures readers’ interaction with the content.
Say a promotion-related hashtag produces an unexpected volume of readers in the
Southeast. Consider leveraging that metric
with paid marketing in that region to encourage a multiplier effect, Parekh says.
Utilize different platforms. Use Twitter
and Facebook, but don’t ignore other popular
social media platforms, such as Google+,
Pinterest, Instagram and, for videos, Vine,
says Means. Combined they broaden your
firm’s exposure, she says.
Don’t be cavalier. Thoroughly think
through the hashtags you deploy. Ideally,
they should be simple, clear and catchy and
help readers quickly associate the hashtags
with your business.
Don’t overdo hashtags. Be judicious
about how many hashtags you include in one
message; Means recommends no more than
two or three. She says few readers will take
the time to click on hashtag-saturated tweets
Don’t piggyback on non-related
hashtags. You risk being tagged a spammer
by using popular or trending hashtags completely unrelated to your firm. On the other
hand, there’s nothing wrong with latching on
to, say, Twitter’s “Throwback Thursday” by
contributing a clever marketing slogan your
firm deployed in yesteryear, says Means.
As with almost anything, your hashtagging proficiency should rise with sustained
time, effort and experimentation.
“It’s like the old adage ‘You get out of it
what you put into it,’ ” says Sloane. “If you’re
not doing it and testing it, you’ll never know
how useful it can be.” C
Harvey Meyer is a freelance writer who regularly covers business and consumer topics.
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