When you send a tweet, who actually sees it? The answer of course is your followers – an important but finite number of individuals. But what about extending your message to a larger audience?
Enter the hashtag: the # symbol that Twitter uses to link network-wide conversations around a single theme, such as “marketing“.
Part of the power of the hashtag lies in the fact that it helps bring in more Twitter traffic by delivering your messages to the eyes of everyone searching for tweets containing that hashtag, not just those who are your followers.
For instance, if there is a trending hashtag called #justsaying, there might be a variety of contributors all offering their unique perspectives within the conversation thread.This is your chance to chime in with a relevant tweet that draws attention to your brand.
You shouldn’t just jump into the conversation, however; you should study it first and see where it’s going. If, after reviewing the hashtag thread, you determine there’s an opportunity to add value to the conversation, it’s time to formulate your tweet. But, before you go out and do this, remember:
- Keep the same tone and topic going with your hashtagged tweet
- Don’t just market: play the game and contribute to the dialogue
- Don’t jack hashtags (think jumping in with irrelevant content) or you might find your Twitter popularity dropping
Remember Twitter etiquette
Along with marketing and playing the hashtag game, it’s important to remember some basic Twitter etiquette. Some of the things to remember, include:
- Don’t spam – don’t send out a tweet every minute of the day
- If you want to have a private conversation, use a direct message
- When someone follows you, it’s best to not have a autoresponder send a direct message to them
- If you’re going to join a conversation, make sure you are welcome into it, first
It’s easy to get caught up in the hashtag game and forget etiquette, so take the time to study conversations and find the best way to join, before you stick out as ‘that person’ who’s just trying to sell something.
Image: jeffisageek (Creative Commons)