The Point of HashTags

Last week I met with Rebecca Fennell at The Espresso Lounge in Tring, I should say on the recommendation of Jeremy Chapman of Roy Chapman Ltd

Anyway, Rebecca is a professional photographer and the meeting was to discuss her marketing activity.  As a result of showing me her absolutely fantastic portrait portfolios and wedding books, the owner, who had also caught a glimpse, asked her to call him to discuss photographing his own wedding. 

To cut an already lengthy story a little shorter, The Espresso Lounge subsequently contacted me via Twitter for an explanation of hashtags!   140 characters couldn’t really do it justice, and so, whilst thinking this would make a good blog post, a client of mine Helen Reeley of Reeley Landscapes referred me to a pub in Amersham quoting #BQM – Berkhamsted Queen of Marketing – which, with a little prodding, I have now registered on Twubs.com.  So… a bizarre set of events, but just a little intro to this particular blog post!

What is a Hash Tag & how do I use it?

A Hashtag, used on Twitter with the # symbol identifies a subject matter, trending topic, town or county etc.  By inserting the # at the beginning of the word (or words, without spaces) a link is created.  By clicking and opening the link you will be able to see what others are saying about that subject or topic and contribute to their discussions as you wish.

What is a Trending Topic & how do I use it?

A trending topic identifies breaking news; environmental, financial, political, gossip or scandal, the choice is yours!  If there is something here that relates to your industry or perhaps the location of your business, that you can offer advice on or an alternative perspective on, use it to create your own spin and promote yourself.

Why should I include Hash Tags in my Tweets?

Well, lets face it, you don’t!  However in addition to the two main points above, using a hashtag is a great way to aid searches and to attract new followers who are also interested in similar topics.  The hashtag itself is not case sensitive and sometimes well-known topics are abbreviated, such as the one I’ve used above #BerkhamstedQueenofMarketing to #BQM, providing much needed spare character space in your tweet!

Promoting others within your Twitter community is also an important facet of Twitter or any other Social Media Platform; promoting others will ultimately lead to your own material getting promoted.  Promoting others on Twitter specifically, will result in dialogue amongst your community and build trust in what you have to say.  Hashtags such as #FollowFriday and #CharityTuesday are also great for this.  But do remember to say why you are recommending them, rather than just posting out a string of @ usernames.

Useful Tools

If you click on a hashtag and there is little value behind it, ie, lack of discussion or even multiple discussions but on different subject matters, you can identify and create your own.  HashTags.org will allow you search, identify and keep track of conversations using those hashtags.  Whilst Twubs.com will allow you to create and register your own hashtag.

I hope this blog post is useful but if you’ve any queries or questions, do drop me a line!

And finally, a quick thanks, in addition to those above, to Kathy Cooke of InfoBerkhamsted, Martin Gladdish of Entrepreneur’s Circle and Angus Grady of Customeyes Research for their support in developing #BQM!  You can find them on Twitter at @InfoBerkhamsted, @MartinGladdish @AngusGrady.  For those detailed above, @HelenReeley, @RebeccaFennell, @RoyChapmanLtd and @EspressoLounge.

Alison