Lorelei Gibb talks about using hashtags to find potential customers for your business

Lorelei Gibb: Putting the #hashtag to work

This month, Lorelei Gibb explains the wonders of the little symbol and how it can get you business.

If you’re familiar with Twitter you’ll be aware of the proliferation of the hashtag. If you’re also fluent in Pinning and G+ing and can’t live without your Instagram stream, you’ll understand its reach there too. And even Facebook has at last conceded and jumped onto the hashtag bandwagon.

But how do you use # in Twitter to your full advantage? The majority of advice points towards including hashtags in your tweets to enable more people to see your posts. The golden rule thou shalt not break here is overuse of # – you’ll just look spammy. If someone is searching Twitter for the word that you have highlighted – #Microsoft, #laptoprepair etc – then your tweet will come up and voila: you’ve got a (potential) sale/contact/follower.

But what is missing from this advice? You need to turn it on its head.

Instead of waiting for people to possibly find YOU by searching for your hashtags, use Twitter to search for them. Just pop whatever key word is relevant into the twitter.com search box and choose between “people” and “tweets”. Now you can monitor real time conversations and have the power to start engaging with the people who are searching for the very products or services that you provide.

And, as mentioned above, the hashtag is used in more places than just Twitter – it doesn’t even need to be on a social media platform. Try a Google search, say #laptop and see what comes up. The humble hashtag is a very useful, and underused, marketing tool.

Lorelei Gibb is Marketing Director at www.dolphinupgrades.com

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