When you are starting out on Twitter it takes time to gain followers and the obvious question that I get asked by clients who are creating good content on their blogs is how to promote this content if they only have a few followers? There are a number of ways you can achieve this but I’m going to focus on Hashtags(#) in this post and how these can be used to gain visibility and promote your content.
What are Hashtags?
Firstly let’s define what a Hashtag is – you may have already seen these in your usage of Twitter. They are identified by words preceded by a # symbol which in Twitter acts as a way of grouping the tweet on a particular topic. For example I could promote this blog post on twitter by adding #socialmedia to the tweet. You may even have seen Hashtags displayed by TV programmes for example BBC Question Time uses #bbcqt and displays this at the start of the programme and during the programme.
How do Hashtags work?
Hashtags work in a few different ways. One way is that when you see a tweet which includes a hashtag you are able to click on it and this will display all other tweets that have also used this hashtag. Alternatively you can perform a search within Twitter on a particular hashtag and this will display the same set of results. Referring back to the TV programmes that make use of Hashtags you can see the power of them because you can follow what others are tweeting about while watching the programme and you yourself can join in the conversation (be sure to include the hashtag in your tweets too).
How does this help me promote my content?
When you post a tweet promoting your content ordinarily it will only be seen by the people who follow you. By adding Hashtags to your tweets you open up the potential for your tweet and therefore potentially the content that you’ve included a link to in that tweet to be seen by others who either search by the hashtag you’ve used or by them clicking on a hashtag included in another tweet. By this extended exposure beyond your followers you may find that others who are interested in your content will become followers if you’re tweeting relevant and interesting content. They may also in turn become subscribers to your blog because they visited it from the link you tweeted and realised how good your content is – or maybe both! So Hashtags are your friend and here are some tips on how to use them effectively:
1. Use relevant Hashtags for the topics of your tweets
2. Perform a search for potential Hashtags you may use to check which ones are active. While you can earn bragging rights to being the creator of a new hashtag your goal is to ensure your tweets are being seen by a wider audience so try to go for ones being used frequently.
3. Don’t use too many Hashtags in a single tweet as this will leave you less space to put the actual message you want to tweet and the link to your blog content. Remember each tweet only has 140 characters available.
So there you have it – who would have thought that little # symbol could wield so much power in getting your tweets and thereby content seen by more people? Start using Hashtags from today and keep an eye on your Twitter follower numbers, blog visitors and subscribers to your blog. Please come back here and let us know how things have improved for you since you started using Hashtags – I love hearing about success stories!