The Power of Hashtags on Twitter Toward Your PR and Marketing

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Canadian Association of Marketing ProfessionalsWhen it comes to Twitter, hashtags can be powerful marketing and PR tools. Serving to increase the visibility of your tweets, help you target certain conversations, and provide tracking data for measurement, hashtags are a real, tactical way to enhance your performance on Twitter. Here, we answer a few questions you may have about using Twitter and hashtags for your PR and marketing. What is Twitter? Twitter has becoCanadian Association of Marketing Professionals - CAMPme a major communications tool for professionals and non-professionals alike. On this social network, users share 140-character tweets that can include links, video, and photos. Tweets appear in real time on your home feed, and may consist of conversati ons, self-promotion, news, and other “babble.” So what exactly is Twitter “good for” in PR and marketing? Several things, according to Jason Kintzler, founder and CEO of PitchEngine. “With only 140 characters to post, those long-winded marketers have to tighten up their message and be concise. It forces us to get to the point and doesn’t allow for much else. From a PR perspective, recent studies have released that most people who follow brands say they do to be the “first to know” about news, promotions, and updates.” (via Deirdre Breakenridge) How does a Hashtag Work? Hashtags are clickable terms incorporated into the text of tweets, with a # symbol before the first word. When clicked, a hashtag will pull up all conversations tagged with that hashtag. Very popular hashtags will “trend.” When you search for a hashtag on Twitter, there are a few ways to filter the results. The “Top” option displays the most relevant and popular posts, including those from users you don’t follow. “Live” shows every tweet that uses that hashtag in real-time, and “People you follow” (under more options) will only display results from Twitter users you are following. What are the Benefits of Using Hashtags? When you use hashtags, you’re able to strategically identify and engage with Twitter users who are valuable to your brand and campaign efforts, gather feedback from a certain niche, and crowdsource ideas for content to make sure you’re always giving your target audience what they want and adding value to the conversation. Aside from these benefits, hashtags are great for amplifying the engagement of your tweets. In general, tweets with hashtags have proven to generate twice the engagement in the form of clicks, retweets, favorites and replies as tweets without. Defining Hashtag Success: Tracking & Monitoring To make the most of your tweets, and your overall social media marketing efforts, make sure you define your KPIs and measure them during and after your campaign runs. Some questions you may want to ask yourself include: how many social impressions did the hashtag generate? What was the percentage of overall impressions for the month / year? How many mentions did it earn? Top sources? Use Twitter Analytics to see tweet-specific data and account-specific data for custom time periods. Depending on your campaign goals (brand awareness, engagement, etc.), the metrics you choose to track when it comes to your tweets with hashtags will vary. The important thing is that you have a clear, measurable goal for your Twitter activity, and a big-picture perspective when you measure. Twitter Parties – Good for Branding? Twitter parties, (also known as Twitter chats, Twitter meetups or Tweetups) can be very helpful for branding. An accessible way to integrate your brand into particular communities and conversations and connect with influencers you may want to build a relationship with (no invitation is required!) they’re also helpful for increasing your impressions and boosting overall brand awareness.  Swap insights first-hand and network on Twitter at a Twitter party of your choice, and when you do, don’t forget to use your hashtags. What specific hashtags, conversations, or Twitter parties has your brand found beneficial?

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