Month: February 2018

woman tweeting from her laptop

Twitter Tutorial, Number 1: Hashtags

I’ve been running my on business for a few years now, and have some form of presence on nearly all of the social media platforms. However, Twitter is by far and away my favourite – not to mention, most successful – of all my accounts. This is a little ironic, as when I was starting out Twitter both scared and mystified me; I didn’t understand all the terms, or how to use the platform – when to tweet, what to tweet, how to use hashtags, etc, etc.

As a massive twitter convert, I thought I would write a series of tutorials, containing the sort of information and tips, that I would have found useful when I was starting out on Twitter, in the hopes it might help other creative startups!

Hashtags

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I thought I’d start with the obvious, and for some people the most confusing, aspect of twitter – using hashtags!

Put plainly, a hashtag is something which you include in your tweets, to increase the likelihood that it will be seen by other twitter users. This basically works in one of three ways; I’m going to list them in what I see as their order of importance, for small, creative businesses, like ours, starting with the most important.

Networking Hours

image courtesy of: tkographix.com

There are certain hours set aside each week, where people tweet about a certain subject, using a specific hashtag – I’ll suggest a couple of my favourites at the end of the post – but here’s just one example: #HandmadeHour runs every Wednesday 19.30-20.30 (GMT), and every Sunday 20.00-21.00 (GMT) – during this time lots of people with handmade businesses, as well as people who love to buy handmade, are all tweeting, using the hashtag, #handmadehour, as well as searching for other tweets including that hashtag – it’s a huge community, and there will be lots of people liking, retweeting, and commenting on your work (more of all those terms later!) this means that more and more people are seeing your tweets, and your work, and it does create sales!

Here’s a couple of examples of the sorts of things I might tweet during #handmadehour:

‘I handprint beautiful designs onto eco-friendly kraft paper #handmadehour.’

I will also tweet about specific products, e.g. approaching Valentine’s Day, I might tweet something like ‘My turtle dove gift wrap is perfect for adding that finishing touch to a #Valentines gift! #handmadehour.’

I would also add a link to my shop or specific product in question (most of the time this will bring up the first image on the page your linking to, e.g. if I put a link in to my turtle dove gift wrap, it would also show the first listing image for this product. This image doesn’t use up any extra characters of your 140-character limit). I might also tag other twitter users in some posts too… But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves; let’s just get the basics of hashtags this time round!

Searching Using Hashtags

People with a particular interest or need might search for certain hashtags, e.g. in the run up to Valentine’s Day people might be looking for gift ideas or cards, so may search for hashtags such as, #valentines, #valentinesgiftideas, or #valentinescards (side note – do not put any punctuation in your hashtags, as it will separate the words, e.g. if you tweeted #valentine’scards, twitter would post it as #valentine ‘scards.) So, for example, if someone searched #Valentines, then my previous tweet, where I used the hashtag, #Valentines, would be amongst the search results.

Now, it may be amongst thousands upon thousands of other tweets using #Valentines, however, if you use more niche terms, then your chance of reaching your target customer is far higher! For example, I have a range of dog designs, so if I include the breed of the dog in a tweet about the product, lovers of that particular breed may well find it, as they like to keep up-to-date with, for example, all things #Frenchie, or all things #Pug!

Trending Hashtags:

Image courtesy of: seoclerks.com

Using the search function in Twitter, you can see what the top trending hashtags are at any time; if you think you’ve got something to shout about which relates to one of them, then you could include it in a tweet; e.g. when the marriage equality laws were coming, there was quite often a related hashtag trending; as a supporter of equal marriage, I took the opportunity to promote my range of wedding favours, which cater to both white and pink weddings. Don’t just add a trending hashtag to your tweet for the sake of it though – this is bad twitter etiquette!

My Favourite Networking Hours

#wineoclock #womaninbiz: Mon-Fri, 18.00-19.00 – #wineoclock #womaninbiz – use these two hashtags together, to network with other small business owners; this is a really nice community hour.

#handmadehour Wed, 19.30-20.30, Sun, 20.00-21.00 – biggest networking hours of the week for handmade businesses.

#crafthour Sun, 19.00-20.00 – a close second to #handmadehour.

Get tweeting!

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