Twitter For Business: What Is A Hashtag?

What is a hashtagWhat is a hashtag?

Placing the # (hashtag) symbol in front of a word or words (no spaces in between) in some social media sites turns that word or words into a clickable link that when clicked gives you a list of all the status updates/tweets/comments that have included that #hashtag in it.

Why is it there?

The #hashtag makes it easy to find conversations that are talking about the same thing.  Let me explain:  It’s a bit like going to a library and looking for an autobiography.  If the library didn’t have a specific labelled section for autobiographies and all the books were just randomly stuck on the shelves we’d have trouble finding them.  The hashtag is giving the update/tweet/comment a label to make it easier to include it in a particular section of conversation and makes it easier to find.

Where can I use it?

Although Twitter is probably the most well known social media site for the #hashtag, you can now use them on some of the other social media sites such as Google+, Facebook and Instagram.

How is it used?

#Hashtags are used in lots of different ways including:

Following conversations around television programs:  most popular programs feature a #hashtag so viewers can comment and talk to each other on social media sites about what they’re watching

But for business they’re generally used in these ways:

Conferences & exhibitions:  to connect conversations to do with the events:

event hashtag

Local networking:  to find people in your geographic area to network with:

local hashtag

Industry discussions:  to talk about your industry developments, news and network with your peers:

Industry Hashtag

Categorising:  to make it easier for people to see what the post is about:

category hashtag

And not forgetting:

A way to recommend someone using #ff (also known as #followfriday):

Follow Friday Hashtag

Can you search a #hashtag ACROSS social media sites?

Funny you should ask that 🙂

I came across Tagboard.com when I was reading an article on Social Media Examiner.  #tagboard is a website where you can create your own #hashtag boards so you can follow the #hashtags you’re interested in across multiple social media sites.  You definitely need to put this on your list of social media tools to have a look at!

Tagboard for hashtag

What #hashtags do you use on a regular basis? Tweet me @kljsocialmedia

 

Using Twitter to find local customers

How would you like to find tweets that mention your topic of expertise, from people who are geographically close to you?  Imagine how useful that could be to you!  It would mean you could start up a conversation on Twitter and then have the opportunity to take it offline.

A recent client, who has a tyre repair service, has a search set up for the word ‘puncture’ – whenever he sees a tweet that includes that word he sends a reply to let them know he can help, and quite often he’s then booked to do the job.

While you can use the basic Twitter search box to do this you need to know something about search operators to get really specific, which can be complicated.  However the Twitter Advanced Search page lets you search locally without knowing anything about search operators.  Unfortunately Twitter seem to have hidden this option quite well – but don’t worry, because I’m going to tell you how to find it!

To access the Twitter Advanced Search page type the keywords you want to search for in the usual Twitter search box and press Enter on your keyboard.

Twitter Search

You’ll see a results page that gives you a list of tweets that include those keywords. Click the down arrow next to the ‘cog’ in the corner of the page then click Advanced Search.

Twitter Advanced Search Button

 

 

 

 

 

This reveals the Twitter Advanced Search page where you can really narrow your search.

Twitter Advanced Search Page

Type in your keywords then go to the Places box.  Enter the geographical area you work in and then click Search.

You’ll get a list of tweets that include your keywords, from people who are in the location you searched on.

To save this search for future use click the drop down arrow on the search results page next to the ‘cog’ and click Save Search.  The next time you want to look at this search click in the basic search box and a list of your saved searches will appear.

Using Twitter search in this way helps you find opportunities and people to add to your network.

Twitter Advanced Search

Did you know there’s an Advanced Search function on Twitter?  No?  That’s because Twitter doesn’t seem to want you to find it!

Here’s how:

Type the keywords you want to search for in the Twitter search box and press Enter on your keyboard.

You’ll see a results page that gives you a list of tweets that include those keywords.  Click the down arrow next to the ‘cog’ in the corner of the page, then click Advanced Search.

This then reveals the Twitter Advanced Search page where you can really narrow your search.

If you’d like more handy tips just like this one then you can buy my eBook: 365 Social Media Tips – download it to your Kindle or youriPhone or iPad.  You can also buy it direct from Brightword Publishing.  The tips cover Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Hootsuite, Slideshare and more.  Most of the tips also include a ‘how-to’ so you know where to look.