Amplification of your message is an important component of your Twitter content strategy. Many successful online marketers use popular Hashtags within their tweets to drive their audience back to their website. It’s not as difficult as it seems, and if used correctly, will help you achieve similar results.
This article will show you, in 3 practical steps, how to find, decide and use Twitter Hashtags and incorporate them into your Twitter Content Strategy.
But first, let me briefly explain WHY Twitter Hashtags and WHY a Twitter Content Strategy…
The Twitter Hashtag
Twitter defines a hashtag as: “The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It was created organically by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages.”
An even better definition – Wikipedia. “A hashtag is a word or an unspaced phrase prefixed with the hash character (or number sign),
#, to form a label. It is a type of metadata tag. Words or phrases in messages on microblogging and social networking services such as Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Twitter, or VK may be tagged by entering # before them, either as they appear in a sentence, e.g., ‘New artists announced for #SXSW2019 Music Festival’ or appended to it.”
To make it clearer, let me decode these two definitions:
- A Twitter hashtag allows you to access relevant conversations on Twitter. The hashtag, when included on a Tweet, categorizes the conversation by filing the Tweet into a ‘virtual folder’, and the conversations that belongs to that folder, can be viewed by anyone, by clicking on the designated hashtag
- Hashtags create a topical filing system on Twitter
- Hashtags reduce the noise on Twitter, and allows you access relevant, and a manageable amount of conversations
- Hashtags allow you to find Business Partners on Twitter. Many savvy business professionals will append hashtags onto their Tweet. That hashtag may represent a vertical domain, a product or service, an area of interest, etc. Once you get into the head of your Business Partner (not literally), you can guess/speculate their hashtags usage.
- Find Customers on Twitter. Your target audience may represent a topic or area of interest by including a topical hashtag in their Tweet. Based on my experience, and depending on their “Twitter Savvyness” and the industry the are within, these individuals use hashtags less frequently in their Tweets. However, once you understand their usage patterns and motivation, you can locate them through hashtags.
The Twitter Content Strategy
To understand about a Twitter Content Strategy, you first need to understand the meaning of a Content Marketing Strategy.
The Content Marketing Institute defines Content Marketing Strategy: “…is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
A Twitter Content Marketing Strategy is no different, except the strategic actions are focused towards your target audience, SPECIFICALLY ON TWITTER.
Your Twitter Content Strategy allows you to find, educate, inform, position, and ultimately bring your ideal customers back to your website, so they can purchase your products and services, and ultimately help you achieve your business objective.
Imagine incorporating hashtags into your Twitter Content Strategy. It’s a powerful mix!
- They help position your content where your target audience is located (aka reading your Tweets)
- They help amplify your content, for your target audience to locate. (ie. Tweets appear in followers and the hashtag streams)
Now that you understand these two fundamentals, the following 3 steps will show you exactly how to incorporate hashtags into your Twitter Content Strategy.
Step #1: Know Thy Audience. Business Objective. Your Goal
For those of you who know me, I’m all about understanding your objective, and audience before moving forward.
Knowing your business objective, your audience, and what you want to achieve on Twitter, are fundamental to your strategy. Please Don’t leave home without them. 🙂
Your business objective, will give you a clear indication of the type of hashtags you should use in your Twitter Content Strategy. For example, if your business objective is to educate your audience about alcohol abuse, you’ll probably select #healthcare focused hashtags versus #entertainment hashtags. Unless, of course, your target audience are rock stars, who use the #entertainment hashtag 🙂
Another example: If your business objective is to help your audience increase their net wealth through financial investment, you would probably select hashtags that are #financial industry focused (not #healthcare).
Then there’s your ideal client…
Knowing your ideal client, helps to narrow your hashtag selection . Your ideal client, for example, could be a male, wealthy babyboomer, who has an interest in sports cars. In this case, your hashtags may be focused around #babyboomer, #sportscars, and perhaps #finance.
Then your Twitter objective…
Why are you using Twitter? Finding potential customers? Locating Business Partners? Branding presence? Understanding your Twitter objective will help you focus your energies towards communicating with the correct people and thus using relevant hashtags in your Twitter Content Strategy.
Step #2: Research Your Hashtags
Now its Twitter hashtag research time. You need to find the hashtags that:
- strong>Have significant activity (Tweets) behind them. Which would you prefer? A store front in the bustling area of Times Square, New York or the remote reaches of Baffin Island in North Canada?
- Are deemed to be influential
- Do not have too much activity that your voice gets drowned out
You need to gauge the volume and nature of Tweets that work best for your niche. In my opinion, it’s more of an art than a science.
Time to head over to Hashtagify.Me. They provide a service that will allow you to easily research hashtags that are right for your Twitter Content Strategy.
1. Start by entering a keyword into Hashtagify.me that represents your business objective. For example, if your business objective is to help educate your audience about organic food products, enter “organic” into its search bar. Hashtagify.me will produce a bubble diagram similar to the image on the right.The size of the bubble determines the popularity and activity level of each hashtag. You can also select any of the “connected” hashtags. The connected hashtags represent hashtags that are relevant to you primary hashtag.
Experiment with the tool. You’ll be amazed at the information you find.
2. Identify the top 3 hashtags that are well balanced in terms of size and activity. You may have to head over to Twitter and study the activity in that specific hashtag group. Ask yourself these 2 questions:
Will my content be seen or drowned by using a selected hashtag?
Are the people in this hashtag stream included as my target audience?
3. Get more detail about the hashtags be selecting viewing the hashtag as Table Entries.
4. Select the hashtags that are most relevant for your business, audience, and objective.
Step #3: Prepare Content, Calendar and Tweet Your Stuff
This is the fun part. You just need time, energy, and the right tools.
Every content strategy requires thought about:
- Obviously, the type of content
- The intended action you want your audience to take and
- The time frame to achieve your results
In other words – a plan!
A good starting point for your plan, is the end. Start at your desired results, reverse engineer, work backwards, until you end at the starting point.
Yes, I know it sounds a backwards. It is, but this method seems to work well for me and my clients. Know exactly what you want to achieve, and then figure out what you need to do to achieve those results.
Give it a shot.
Assemble your series of Tweets, including the hashtags you established in an earlier step. Remember, its the hashtags that will amplify your content and help you reach a broader target audience.
Decide on the Tweet frequency and create your content calendar. Depending on the volume of Tweets, you may wish to consider how to save time, by using selective automation techniques.
Monitor your selected hashtags, and insert yourself into Twitter conversations in a meaningful way. I use a combination of tools to help me accomplish this:
Wrapping It Up
A well constructed Twitter Content Strategy will include relevant hashtags. When the correct hashtags are used, your content will be amplified, with a broader target audience reach.
Plan accordingly, and use tools that will help you execute your strategy.
In summary, consider these following when incorporating hashtags into your Twitter Content Strategy:
- Know your target audience
- Understand your business objective
- Know your objective for using Twitter
- Research relevant Twitter hashtags
- Create a Twitter Content Calendar
- Selectively automate your Twitter activity
- Monitor your designated hashtag streams for relevant conversation
- Use the tools to execute your strategy
Need help to generate more relevant online business leads? Drop us a note. We’re more than happy to help.