Tag Archives: hashtags

Get More Out of Your Hashtags

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Spend any kind of time on social media and you will quickly become familiar with some of the most basic, common hashtags. Consider #tbt, #wcw, #selfie, #sorrynotsorry—all of these trendy tags represent cross-cultural idioms that immediately position a tweet, a Facebook post, or an Instagram image within a larger conversational context.

As a small business owner, you should absolutely be using these hashtags to leverage these popular trends; they’re a great way to get your content noticed and appreciated. With that said, the common nature of these hashtags is their downfall as well as their saving grace: While they can prove helpful in generating engagement, they also do little to help your brand stand out from the crowd.

That’s what makes it advantageous to develop some of your own, customized hashtags—some little taglines or catchphrases that you “own” and that speak directly to your brand. These ultimately help create a brand identity that is specific rather than generic, and they reveal the true creativity behind your content marketing efforts.

Of course it is important to be thoughtful in creating your custom hashtags. To help get your creative juices flowing, we have three dos and one don’t for custom hashtagging.

  1. DO add your name to your hashtags. If you want a hashtag that immediately points back to your brand, there is no better way to achieve it than by inserting your name into the hashtag. For example, Grammar Chic, Inc. has a client named Kip, and on Twitter we position some of his insights and sayings with the #tipsfromkip hashtag.
  2. DO be funny, where appropriate. Hashtags present a great avenue for humor, even if you’re essentially making up words or concepts. We know of one company that sells steaks and ribs, and it tags many of its posts with the clever, defiant-sounding #unvegan hashtag.
  3. DO offer immediate value. Sometimes the best hashtags aren’t necessarily clever; they just offer something beneficial, something readers will immediately zero in on as value-adding. We work with a home improvement company that often does hashtag series such as #Roofing101 or #RemodelingMadeSimple, and these posts tend to get a lot of shares and favorites.
  4. DON’’T leave your hashtags too open-ended. A final warning: Don’t leave your hashtags open to hijackers. We all know the story of McDonald’s and its ill-fated #McDStories campaign. Customers were supposed to share positive memories from McDonald’s, but instead shared tweets about getting food poisoning and the like. Make sure you maintain some level of control over your hashtags.

Want our creative team to help you brainstorm some unique hashtags? Just give us a call at 803-831-7444, or visit www.grammarchic.net today!

 

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Twitter: How to Use this Powerful Marketing Tool Effectively and Create Eye-popping Tweets

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Though Twitter encourages content creators to get their point across in 140 characters or less, this doesn’t mean that tweets have to lack information. In fact, a well-crafted tweet can grab a reader’s attention and get them clicking on an important link or story.

While it should theoretically feel easier to write a message when you only have so much space, in many ways this task proves difficult.  If you go over the 140-character limit, your message will get truncated. To avoid this, the author must get the point across in a short yet clear way. To craft a tweet that will stand out in a near-constant stream of updates, here are some thoughts:

Rewrite your message with Twitter in mind

You know what you want to say, but now it’s about condensing that thought so it’s appropriate for Twitter. For those who are not natural editors, this is often a difficult task. It’s important to preserve the root of the message, without going over your character limit. This may mean getting creative when it comes to cutting out unnecessary words.

Find an alternative way to say the same thing

While your original tweet may put you far over the character limit, there’s probably a way to get the same message across using less characters. Can you use other words or insert contractions in order to make the tweet 140 characters or less? Find shorter synonyms whenever possible, but as you do this, make sure that the replacement word conveys the proper meaning of what you’re trying to say.

Stay away from abbreviations

While some abbreviations are perfectly acceptable in text messages, when tweeting from a business account you should stay away from using online slang such as “lol” and “brb.” While these terms are commonly understood, they’re not professional and can make your company look unprofessional.

Use the active voice

The active voice is more pleasant to read, and also frequently uses less characters than the passive voice. Try to write in the active voice whenever you’re composing a tweet.

Don’t feel afraid about hash tags

Hash tags are useful when you’re trying to get your point across in a brief way. They can replace lengthy words and phrases to help you create a tweet that makes sense but is still less than 140 characters. Don’t shy away from using hash tags as you go about crafting the perfect Twitter message.

If you’re feeling uncertain about how to get your business’s message across using social media platforms like Twitter, feel free to contact Grammar Chic, Inc. for some professional advice and pointers. Our team is able to provide guidance about how to utilize your business’s Twitter account to speak directly to your target audience and get the most out of this great marketing tool.

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Tweet Your Way to Better Business: The Secret of the Hashtags, Part II

Last week we discussed Twitter—specifically, Twitter as a tool for business promotion and brand management, not Twitter as a platform to ramble on and on about whatever you ate for breakfast this morning. Remember: Twitter is what you make of it. Approach it without vision or discretion and it’s only going to generate useless noise. Approach it with foresight, however, and you can really use it to your company’s advantage.

And hashtags are a great way to do that. Last week’s blog was all about selectively and effectively using pre-existing hashtags, and, if you’ll remember, my comments emphasized the importance of discretion—of using only the hashtags that really fit your business and its goals. But what do you do when there isn’t a hashtag that fits the bill? Simple: You make your own.

Easy, right? Well, yes and no. Of course, the simple act of creating a hashtag is a breeze—you just put the # character in front of a word. If you can’t handle that, I might suggest that Twitter isn’t for you. But creating a hashtag that will actually benefit your company and function as a useful brand management tool? That takes just a bit more finesse.

The first step is picking the word itself. Remember, the hashtag you use needs to be something that fits with your business. It also needs to be something that other Twitterers can easily use in their tweets. The whole point of this is to generate a sense of community, after all, by creating a memorable “trend” on Twitter—so make sure your hashtag is something that’s pretty easy to spell. You might also want to make it short. As a Twitter user, I will personally attest to the fact that, when a hashtag eats up half of your 140 characters, it’s usually way more frustrating than it’s worth.

Once you’ve settled on a good hashtag, just start using the thing. Attach it to your tweets, but remember to make those tweets pertinent. Don’t throw around your hashtags like spam; say something substantive in each tweet. And make it worth your followers’ while to use the hashtag themselves. For instance, let’s say you own a lawn equipment store. You could ask your followers what their favorite lawn maintenance activity is, and have them tag their answers with #lawnfavorites. Maybe offer a door prize of some sort for one lucky participant?

The idea, of course, is that using hashtags like this will help you cultivate a sort of community among your Twitter-savvy clients—keeping your name in front of them and keeping them interested in what you’re doing. As always, I should also note that Grammar Chic, Inc. offers superior services in brand management campaigns just like this, and that investing in said services could ultimately help your business convert Twitter followers into sales prospects.

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