How can I use the hashtag to promote my business?
Many brands choose to create their own hashtag to promote specific campaigns, events, or products. Be sure to tweet from your business account, so clients can find all of your tweets in one place. It's also important to check the privacy settings of your business page to make sure that your tweets are "public." If your account is set to "private," your hashtags will not show up in any searches.
Now that you have a business account, there are a few different ways you can use hashtags to market your business.
- Do some hashtag research!
- Watch current trends
- Design your own hashtag
- Attend events and join their community
To use hashtags most effectively, you probably need to do a little bit of research. It doesn't have to be a huge commitment, just a little bit of browsing. See what other businesses in your field are tweeting about and how they're using hashtags. Are they tweeting #RxDeals or #HealthNews? Do they participate in #RxChat? This way, other users will find your business when they search those trends.
If you have the time (or a person in your business designated to social media), it doesn't hurt to keep an eye on the current trends. If there's a trend that is relevant to your business, such as #ObamaCare, you might want to craft a tweet about it so that your tweet shows up when someone searches the trend. However, if the trend is not related to your business, you might want to opt out. A tweet about a sale or discount at your pharmacy will come off as spam if you add #MileyCyrus, just because it's trending.
Design Your Own
If you're feeling creative, come up with your own hashtag to promote an event or campaign! Make sure it hasn't been used before but keep it short and sweet. Hashtags that are too long become convoluted. @Starbucks uses #NowBrewing to promote their different blends of coffee.
You can also tweet when you go to a conference, using the hashtag(s) the conference is promoting. Many big events now have a designated hashtag they use so that all the posts about it are in one place. This is a great way to network both online and in real life. If a conference you're attending has a hashtag, it is likely posted in a pamphlet or on a poster somewhere visible to everyone.
What is #FollowFriday?
#FollowFriday, commonly shortened to #FF is a great way to promote your business while keeping you engaged with your followers. It's essentially a weekly online networking event. You can use #FF to give a shout out to some of your favorite Twitter accounts or say thanks to the most engaged members of your audience. You can give your list a theme, like following health advocates or your business' pharmacists. You may consider tweeting specifically to one person, if you want to get a specific message across to them.
A few final notes:
- Keep your hashtags specific yet relevant. If you want to join a conversation about health care, topics like #health and #Obama are vague. Using #ObamaCare or another specific healthcare plan will be more effective.
- Don't use too many hashtags. At RxWiki, we try to cap off at 3 hashtags on Twitter and Facebook. You can get away with a couple more on platforms like Instagram and Pinterest, but using too many just looks like spam.
- When your post only contains hashtags, it's confusing to the reader. Try to at least give your post at least a little bit of text so that the reader knows what you're #excited about.
Finally, keep your hashtags simple and easy to understand. You want your audience to remember what you're hashtagging, and they might use it too!