So you’ve poured your heart and soul into your (or your client’s) latest blog post and you’ve just published. After all that hard work you now get to sit back and relax whilst your social media channels take over the grunt work and push your post to all and sundry; leading to clicks, shares, retweets, engagements and all that good stuff. Oh if only that was how it happened!
Releasing you carefully crafted tweet upon your followers and hopefully the wider world can be a gratifying moment that fast becomes a disappointment without any discernible ROI on your time and effort. But today we’ll take a look at some simple processes that you can undertake that will mitigate the mediocrity and give your tweets some pizazz!
#Hashtags are the cheeky little blighters that add themes, topics and community to your tweets. They are searchable, followable identifiers that allow like-minded folk to get on board with ideas, trends or conversations that interest them. If your tweet has a hashtag or two then people OTHER than your followers can discover you if they are already interested in the hashtags you use.
Hashtags can be the high dose prunes and fibre to the colon of your social media channels (green tea caffeine made me say that) if used strategically and with just a little research. This post will show you how we currently determine what hashtags are going to best help grease the wheels of our tweets; we’ll show you the tools we use and the process we’ve found gives us the smartest hashtags for our money in the shortest possible time (this doesn’t even take that long).
Why bother with hashtags?
WIthout the hashtag effect (the searchability of your tweet by trending or popular tags) you are doomed to sit in the ‘might get seen, might not, depending on who’s looking’ feeds of your followers and not much else, relying on their retweeting to get you seen beyond that. We are HUGE fans of using Twitter Ads to get you some traction when it comes to boosting followers, engagements and so on but hashtag strategy is FREE and an absolutely critical part of your social ‘reach’ strategy (reach is simply a measure of how far your message spreads socially).
So without further ramble here’s our 4 step process to finding some uber feective hashtags to pin to your tweets…
Finding Your Influencers
Finding influencers is useful for pretty much every step of your social activity and no less when it comes to uncovering useful hashtags. We use Buzzsumo (a really super tool) to look for influencers in the topic area we are looking to generate buzz within. Buzzsumo allows you to search for influencers based on keywords from which you can cherry pick the ones you want to research. Buzzsumo does a great job of ordering these guys for you so you can head straight for those with the most relevance to your topic area, which is what we want for this task.
Analysing Your influencer’s Hashtag Usage
Influencer twitter handle in hand you need to head over to Twitonomy where you can analyse your target in a fair bit of depth, even without a pro account.
Once you’ve grabbed their data you need to scroll down the page and take a look at ‘Hashtags Most Used’. Their most used hashtags are laid out here along with the number of times they’ve used them. What you’re looking for are some tags relevant to your topic (most folks have multiple interests so not all their tags are going to be of use). This is where analysing a few influencers will give you a good cross reference of commonly used hashtags by the influencers in your chosen subject. Starting to make sense? Exactly; if they’re using them then we can assume that these are engaging, popular, maybe even trending hashtags that could well be a big deal amongst folks who may well be interested in YOUR content (and thus more likely to share it).
Identify Any Unidentified Hashtags…
Some hashtags are not instantly identifiable. You might not know what #ff means unless you’re already a follower or user of the tag. It may or may not be of any relevance to your tweet/audience and therefore needs some clarity. We like tagdef which is a simple tool that will tell you what your mystery tag is all about.
Popularity, Trends & Usage
Once you’re armed with your potential tags you need to eliminate anything with an old date regardless of relevance and popularity (ie: #SMX2014) as these are most likely long since past events. Then head over to Topsy to check out tag usage. It’s a search engine for Twitter but you can add a ‘#’ to make it a hashtag search just as easily. You’re looking for tags that aren’t just popular but are been used with regularity, maybe even on the rise.
And that’s it! Grab your tags and add them to your tweet (or series of tweets) and get noticed by your target audience. People are using hashtags as a way of discovering the content YOU’RE creating so don’t miss an opportunity to put that content in front of them, that’s what digital marketing is all about.
If you’ve got any questions or simply want to add some hashtag strategies or tools you’ve found that work for you then please comment away!