If your business is on Twitter, chances are you have #hashtagged before. If not, it's time to start. While Twitter started the hashtag, Facebook has incorporated hashtags and uses them to track trending topics.

Hashtags are a great part of your social media strategy. A hashtag (aka the pound sign: #) is put in front of a word or phrase to perform a variety of functions. 

Twitter users puts hashtags in tweets for search mechanisms, marketing tactics and as a categorizing tool. One hashtag we regularly use when we tweet is #bebrilliant. Our company, Brilliant Lens, is also known as Be Brilliant, so we are always sure to add that hashtag to a tweet to help categorize the work and articles that we post. 

When you use a hashtag that is specific to your brand — such as our #bebrilliant or maybe #smallbiz  — it improves the chances that other Twitter users will find your tweets in Twitter searches. If your company is trying out a new Twitter marketing campaign, ask users to include a unique hashtag in their own tweets. Throughout that campaign, Twitter will help organize those tweets for easy search options that let you keep up with what people are saying.

If you want to improve your brand's social media strategy, we recommend taking a closer look at how you use hashtags by following three steps:

1. Keep it simple
Always remember that shorter is sweeter when using a hashtag. When tweeting about your company's latest blog post, keep it simple and direct. Be sure your tweet has hashtags with the keywords that are used throughout your blog. See our tweet below as an example.

Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 12.35.59 PM.png

Avoid creating over-complicated hashtags like #whybrandingmatters or #smallbusinesses. "Why" and "matters" doesn't need to be hashtagged. Instead, simplify! Use #branding or #smallbiz, which will make it easier for users to find.

Social network hashtag

2. Look for business-specific conversations.
Twitter is a great tool to use to listen and learn from others. Say you are a realtor. Look up hashtags such as #realtors or #realestate for advice, resources and current news in your industry. There will probably be a lot of hashtags in these categories, but skim through the tweets each day to see if there are any blog topics that could inspire your next post or perhaps a marketing tactic. 

If you are looking for tips on meeting like-minded business people, try using the #networking hashtag to find information on meet ups and advice on making connections. 

3. Monitor hashtags.
One social media tool we use for our clients is Twilert (see example, right). This dashboard allows you to receive alerts when specific hashtags are tweeted. You can make the alerts specific to geographic areas, retweets or exact phrases. Businesses can also use this tool to monitor what their customers are saying about their brand. This can help you quickly discover and respond to an issue if a bad comment is tweeted about your company. 


Still wondering if Twitter is right for your company? Or how to make hashtags work for you? Small and large businesses alike have figured out that Twitter is a great way to reach their audiences and listen to their customers and competition. Want to learn more? Contact us to get started.

And, of course, be sure to follow us on Twitter @BeBrilliantMktg

Want to know more about using Twitter for small business? Check out these Be Brilliant! blog posts:

How To Create Unique Hashtags For Your Event

How To Promote & Use Hashtags For Your Event

Sweet Tweets! How To Use Twitter For Your Business

Be Brilliant!® | Be Brilliant!® Marketing is a branding and marketing agency based in Southwest Florida. Our work and experience has taken us around the globe, working for clients ranging from local entrepreneurs to global, Fortune 100 companies. If you’re on Facebook, be sure to Like our page. Follow us on Twitter @BeBrilliantMktg

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