Friday, July 31, 2009
Twitter marketing: Using hashtags
by Donna Gunter, The Online Biz Resource Queen (TM)
Twitter, as a popular social networking platform, is a viral marketing strategy all on its own, especially if your followers like your tweets and retweet them to their followers. However, I've recently noticed another trend in Twitter usage that increases its viral marketing capabilities through the use of hashtags.
What's a hashtag, anyway? Also called the pound sign, the hashtag (#) is added to a tweet as a way of creating trackable categories, groups, or topics that others can use to search for info using the Twitter Search feature. One of the most common uses of the hashtag is to tweet what's happening at an event or conference. The event organizer will request all attendees use a specific hashtag, i.e. #yourevent, when tweeting about the event to your followers. So, then, someone who isn't present at the event but wants to follow what's happening there can simply search for #yourevent and see what's going on and what participants are saying and sharing about the event.
Anyone can create a hashtag by putting hashtag (#) in front of anything. If you log into Twitter and look in the right-hand column, you'll see the Trending Topics, many of which can be tracked with a hashtag. How can you use this strategy to create more viral marketing for your business on Twitter? By creating a hashtag Twitter tips campaign.
Here are 6 steps to help you create your own Twitter hashtag campaign:
1. Research. What kinds of tips would be appreciated by your target market? On what topics do you frequently receive questions from your clients? My target market is always asking questions about getting more traffic, so I decided to focus on traffic generation strategies.
2. Choose your name. Choose a short, simple name that reflects your brand and what you're offering. Before making your final decision, you need to check your proposed name on Twitter Search (search by including the #) to ensure that no one else is using that name. Otherwise, your tweeted tips will intermingle with the other hashtag group using that name. I quickly checked and discovered that no one was using #OBUTrafficTip, so that's what I chose.
3. Create your tips. You can easily pick your tips out of an article or blog post you've created. In my case, I had purchased a PLR ebook that I used as a basis for my tips. Remember that your tips need to be less than 140 characters, including the hashtag name you've chosen and any links you include.
4. Link to relevant info. You get the most mileage out of these tips if you link the tips to something relevant to that tip. For example, if you have a bank of articles, each tip might link to an article you've written that has more details about the tip. For maximum exposure, you'll want to link to info on your site or your blog rather than to the posting of an article in an article directory.
5. Upload the tips into TweetLater.com. This type of campaign is easily managed using TweetLater.com. Simply upload your completed tips and set them to distribute once a day (or several times a week) over the upcoming weeks by postdating them into the future. In this way you put these tips on autopilot and they post themselves.
6. Let them begin to work their magic. It may take awhile for them to catch on, but eventually others will begin to retweet your tips as useful information they want their followers to access. As with most marketing strategies, consistency is the key here to your success.
It's pretty easy to begin your own viral marketing tips campaign using the Twitter hashtag. Simply follow the steps as outlined above, and watch as your number of Twitter follows grows each day!
Online Business Coach Donna Gunter helps baby boomers create profitable online retirement businesses by demystifying the steps needed to successfully market a baby boomer business online. Would you like to learn the specific Internet marketing strategies that get results? Discover how to increase your visibility and get found online by claiming your FREE gift, TurboCharge Your Online Marketing Toolkit, at == > http://www.TurbochargeYourOnlineMarketing.com