Tag Archives: Social media marketing

Hashtags – what are they and why should you use them

Hashtags - essential to your #socialmedia campaign!

Hashtags – essential to your #socialmedia campaign!

Hashtags are essential in any social media campaign if you actually want to grow your following or make your content easily accessible to people who aren’t already fans/followers of you or your brand.

A friend of mine digs at me often about my liberal use of #’s – he appends everything with #GetALife – clearly he doesn’t understand what hashtags are and what their benefit is so I don’t begrudge him these digs. His digs certainly won’t stop me using hashtags anytime soon, because I’ve seen and know the effect of their use on the reach of my social campaigns. And why are we taking the time to post to these social networks after all if we don’t want as much reach as possible?

Okay – so first of all – for those who don’t know what hashtags are – here is a non technical explanation in layman’s terms:

What are hashtags?

Hashtags are any word or phrase (with no spaces between words) beginning with the symbol “#” for e.g. #FoodPorn (click on this link to see #FoofPorn in Twitter) or #100HappyDays (which is quite common at the moment and you may have seen recently … click here to see #100HappyDays in Facebook) or the latest big one #OscarPistorius (click here to see #OscarPistorius on Google +) which is being used extensively during the Oscar Pistorius murder trial currently on in Pretoria.

What do hashtags do?

Hashtags enable people (both followers and not) to find and see your posts or content. So if you have posted a photo of your food at a restaurant with the hashtag #FoodPorn anyone, anywhere in the world on that social network who clicks / searches on #FoodPorn will be able to see your post (of course there are some caveats here depending on your privacy settings in Facebook for example but we’re speaking generally here).

Why do you want people who you aren’t friends or who aren’t following you to find you?

Well, this is the whole point of networking! Both in the real world and online, we want new people to find us and use our services. Social media just allows you to cast a larger net and reach far more than you can face-to-face. And using hashtags allows you to target your market. So for e.g. If you are a legal eagle hoping to grow your network or extend your reach or become known as an industry expert you’d start tweeting on Twitter using #OscarPistorius about now – people will start seeing your profile and after a few tweets may start following you (step 1 – gain followers) – as your followers grow, you get more clout and as you continue to post good content with that hashtag the media houses start noticing you so suddenly you’re invited to comment on an article for a popular news website (step 2 – you’ve become an industry expert) – due to this comment you gain further clout and when the local TV station is preparing their slot for the news or a popular actuality program, their producer or researcher finds your hashtags, sees you’ve been quoted in popular media already and invites you to comment and be featured in their segment on Oscar Pistorius! This is a very real world example of how simply using hashtags can lead to your business being raised to the next level almost overnight. Suddenly people who aren’t even on social networks are watching you on TV or reading about you in the newspaper. Who doesn’t want that kind of exposure?

#UseHashtags #ThatIsAll

Yes, your business DOES need social media marketing

Need Social Media?

Need Social Media?

Most large business brands already appreciate the value and need of online social media marketing – and many of them allocate considerable budgets to these avenues of marketing due to the tangible positive effects it has on their businesses.

I find that small business owners however, don’t often understand the value that this marketing strategy can have for them.  Usually they are multi-tasking and performing several roles in their own businesses already, they have limited budgets and they often don’t have the skill or interest in setting up or maintaining a company Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, or whatever the latest social environment is.

Sometimes enthusiasm will hit briefly when someone points out to them that its “FREE” marketing, and they’ll go ahead and create a page, post furiously and ineffectively for a few weeks and then lose momentum and give up because it “hasn’t worked”.

Social media marketing is definitely not free!  No, there are no costs to register on the platform you want to use, you can set up your profile free, brand it, and that’s where the “free” ends.  Maintaining a SUCCESSFUL social media marketing campaign takes time and knowledge and if you lack either of those you most certainly need to pay someone to do this marketing for you.  The cost of this marketing though is affordable to every company, regardless of the size.  Much like managing your traditional marketing budget, you can get creative and use your budget effectively to get the most “bang for your buck”.

Done correctly, a website and social media marketing campaign becomes a full-time 24/7 highly effective sales and marketing resource!  Think about what that would cost you if a person was doing this for you!  Think of the effects that person would have on your bottom line!

Yes, your business absolutely does need social media marketing!  If you have the time but lack the know how – get some training and do it yourself.  Failing that, find an online marketing company that gets you and your brand and speaks your language.  There are a lot of us out there, find your match and start your journey.

Deciding you need social media marketing for your business is just step 1, the next question would be which platforms.  We will be answering that question in our next blog.

 

Cooked Media

Cooked Media