Hashtag this. Hashtag that. You’ve heard the word a million times! But what does it mean and how can you use it to reach your customers and prospects? In this video, Eric Spellmann explains hashtags in plain English and gives you four actionable strategies to use them in your marketing campaign. #WatchTheVideo
Hey. I am Eric Spellmann. And today’s topic is What is Hashtag Marketing? But you know before we get started, we kind of have to ask the question what are Hashtags? I know you’ve all seen them. They basically all begin with the little Pound sign. They were born on twitter, and I know a lot of you don’t even use Twitter. But I’m here to say that you probably need to be at least looking at it. Because a lot of your potential clients are starting to investigate Twitter as well. And I’m gonna have some upcoming Twitter Marketing videos. So be on the watch for those videos. So it was born on Twitter and basically it allows people to group different topics together. In other words, when a discussion is going on, when someone posts something in the online world, a hashtag allows people to group all those things together. You’ve probably noticed them a lot in the news. You know when FOX NEWS, CNN or CBS or any of those news stations are tracking, something is going on somewhere like a shooting, an accident or an earthquake, many times you will be able to see what’s actually going on the ground because people are there tweeting about it or posting in Social Media and they will hashtag it. It will be like a hashtag (#) and then (LAEarthquake) which I hope that never happens. And so anywhere who does a search on #LAEarthquake will see everything that everyones posting about that. So it gives us a way to group it. Keep in mind that it always starts with a Pound sign. And there can be no spaces in it whatsoever. So what are the rules? Hashtag is a pound sign, no spaces and it’s used to group topics together.
Google loves hashtags. And that’s one of the reasons I’ve started to push this. Because you all know I’m all about Google, I’m all about getting found in Google. And I’m here to help you get found in Google. Well, I’m starting to see that Google is giving some preference now to those who are active in Social Media. And these days that includes hashtags. Google is actually looking at hashtags!
So, what are some of the rules? Number 1, you’ve got to stay relevant. Anything you post, any kind of tweet or anything you post with hashtags in it needs to be to the topic. You never want to jump on to a topic that you have nothing to do with or that you are going to post something that has got to do nothing with the hashtag. I mean think about it. If there was a popular hashtag, like #SpiceGirls (which I know isn’t popular anymore) but let’s say that you wanted to talk about Online Marketing. You would not hashtag that with Spice Girls simply because it has nothing to do with it. So you want to make sure you stay relevant that whenever you mention a hashtag it has something to do with what you’re doing. You always have to add context to it. So it’s not a matter of just putting a whole bunch of hashtags out there, that’s not what it’s about. There needs to be some sort of message, a call to action, a link, some sort of message that even if I don’t do searches on the hashtags, I understand what you’re trying to say.
Don’t over use em. If you go crazy with em and use em, people will start to not follow you anymore. If they feel all you will do is spamming them with a hashtag, you don’t wanna do that!
But, on the other hand, use them everywhere. Just don’t use the same one over and over and over again, unless it is relevant. Okay. Everywhere you do, even if it’s not on Twitter. I’m starting to see hashtags in a lot of other places. You know instagram supports hashtags, Tumblr, obviously Twitter does and facebook supports hashtags. And so you can use them in a variety of places. And then when you go to Google and do a search on a hashtag, you’ll discover that Google even loves them and it will show you all the different places where those hashtags are used.
So, how do we use these hashtags from an Online Marketing standpoint? I told you that I will always give you Online Marketing tips. And here is strategy number 1. Hijack a topic! Now once again, you’ve got to stay relevant. Heres a good example. Spellmann supports #HelpingHands #Amarillo #JoinUs. Now what’s going on here? Perhaps there is something going on, maybe a non-profit group, maybe an event where they’re helping people in someway, and maybe it’s called Helping Hands. And so a lot of people are searching on that, a lot of people are discussing it, so I would definitely want to hashtag that because I know a lot of people are looking at that. But I can’t just say Use us for Online Marketing #HelpingHands or Use us to build your websites #HelpingHands. Because there is nothing to do with it. So instead, I’ll take my company name and say Hey, we support #HelpingHands And so it gets us some branding out there. Notice I also included #Amarillo and #JoinUs So theres a kind of a combination of messages that go in there.
Strategy Number 2: Go local with hashtags. Heres a good example. #RoseInn is the best #Hotel in #Amarillo. Love the #FreeBreakfast! Okay. Now what did I do there? You’re right, there’s a lot of hashtags in there, but look at the ones that are there. So if there was a place called Rose Inn, which there isn’t, but if there was then if people were searching for the hashtag, then RoseInn would show up there. You know your name needs to be there. If you do a search on #EricSpellmann you will see some stuff out there, and hopefully it’s all good stuff. But, the key I want you to see here is #Hotel. Now they’ve done studies and a lot of travellers who are in the know, know that they can go through and find reviews and find what people really think of certain places by simply putting #Hotel and then maybe #(the name of the hotel) and then of course #Amarillo and it kind of brings it altogether. The #FreeBreakfast is not something that anyone is looking for that, but it does draw the eye.
Strategy Number 3: Hashtag contest. I love this one, and you will too. I’ve seen this before with some larger companies but you could very easily do it. Keep in mind the goal is to convince people to tweet and retweet or to post on Social Media (including hashtags). So, look at this example. 50% off lunch today only when #BurgerKingLunch hits 2,000 tweets. Basically what this is saying and there are ways to see how many times a hashtag has been mentioned out there, heck even if you just do a Google search but there are ways even in Twitter to do that. This will encourage people to tweet it on or to post it in Social Media in such a way that we can count it. And then when it reaches that amount, then anyone who did that can show on their phone to the restaurant, they get 50% off lunch! I’ve seen this used quite a bit and it works great. It is what I call a hashtag contest.
Strategy Number 4: Organize! If you’re gonna be doing a lot of hashtags, you need to use a tool to help you. My 2 favorites are TweetDeck and Hootsuite. And you can find these by adding a dot com at the end of their names. Basically, they’re both free. They have paid versions you can get but I am about the free versions you know. And so use the free one and what you can do is you can kind of set it up towards monitoring different hashtags and monitoring different feeds. So you don’t have to keep going to Twitter or to facebook and switching around and switching screens and have all those different screens open at once. They make it to where you can kind of see them all at once on 1 screen! I love em! And so if you want to do any kind of Social Media marketing you’ve got to be using, in my opinion, 1 of these 2 tools.
Well as always if you have any question, please don’t hesitate to give my office a call, shoot me an email or find me on facebook and I’ll be happy to help. I’m Eric Spellmann; I’ll see you in cyberspace.