While building your business is all about branding and hitting those key markets, sometimes trying to figure out where those key markets are on social media can be a challenge. Plugging in words, ads, and catchy gimmicks are all fine and good, but where is your audience? What are they searching? You must know where to find them in order to get them.
Posting about fashionable dresses does nothing for your fashion business if you are posting in Twitter and Facebook under cars and books. I quickly discovered that as an indie author I was gaining lots of exposure by other authors, but we were all doing the same thing: branding our books, not necessarily purchasing or reading each others books. What I needed was readers, as such I had to start looking where the readers were. This is where hashtags came in.
First you need to know what a hashtag is. It is the pound symbol or cross hash mark on your phone or keyboard “#.” This is used relentlessly on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and recently adopted by Facebook. What it does is build a small internal community of like minded people using or searching that hashtag. For example, if I am a stay at home mom (SAHM) looking to interact with other SAHMs, then I could write something like, “I love being a #SAHM and teaching my kids my values.” That kind of post would allow other SAHMs to interact, chat, share info, and more.
As a business person using these social sites as tools, you would use the hashtag to target your audience in two ways: First you do a search for #SAHM on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. Find people who use that tag and add them, follow, like or whatever the media calls for. About 50-60% will follow/like back. Now you are building a community around the consumers you are looking for. The second way is to use #SAHM in your posts as such…
Twitter: Want 2B a #SAHM? Visit my page at Facebook.com/Taniaszuzlane No MLM, no parties. Shop.Save.Refer.Earn.
Instagram (you must post a relevant picture): Want 2B a #SAHM like me. All the mommy time in the world with my precious kids. Msg me 4 details or visit my FB page.
Pinterest (another relevant picture): Never thought I could earn income as a #SAHM, but look at me now. Visit my FB page or email me 4 info. No MLM, no parties, no monthly to qualify.
Using hashtags in that respect draws consumers to you. Know your market, know what they are looking for. Be wary, using arbitrary hashtags could be a complete waste of efforts. You must know what your target audience wants, needs, and searches. A valuable website to look into is Hashtags.org, you can type in a hashtag line and do a search. The results will show how often that tag is used in a 24 hour trending graph. If it trends below 10 then it isn’t very useful. You want viral tags that trend well over at least 100 per hour.
If you have any other useful techniques for the use of hashtags please share them in the comments.
Tania L Ramos, RN and author working on becoming a #SAHM