Dear Wedding Professional:
Ever wonder what a hashtag is or how to properly use them? Well, for today’s advice, I turned to Stephanie Buck's article How to Use Twitter Hashtags for your Business. I’ve take Buck’s tips and have put a wedding industry lens on them.
Assuming you have a Twitter account dedicated to your small business, you should also be investing in hashtags as part of your social media strategy. In case you're unsure what a hashtag is - designated by a number sign (#), the hashtag is paired with a word or phrase to perform a variety of functions. Twitter users attach hashtags to tweets as search mechanisms, categorizing tools and marketing tactics.
In your wedding business' case, you may choose to attach a hashtag, such as #wedding. This improves the chance that other Twitter users will find your tweet in targeted Twitter searches. Now that you're familiar with the basic hashtag concept, here are some more tips about hashtags:
- Seek business-specific conversations. If you use Twitter for nothing else, use it to learn from others. Head to hashtags like #wedding for inspiration, resources and current news in our industry. Although broad hashtags like these can generate an overwhelming number of tweets every day, tune in every so often for a quick update. A couple of scrolls down the feed could inspire your next blog post or marketing tactic.
- Keep it simple and consistent. In a tweet about your latest blog post, don't create a long, complex hashtag. Overly complicated hashtags are neither search-friendly nor commonly used, so your tweet will get buried quickly. Next, don't weigh your tweets down with excessive hashtags. If your intention is to be thorough, a thoughtful, precise selection of 1-2 hashtags per tweet works. Seven hashtags reads like desperate marketing, and is a sure way to lose followers quickly.
- Take advantage of Wedding Wednesday. This trend took over in the middle of 2009. It is now more commonly shortened to #WW. You can write a #WW of your own tweet in one of two ways. Create a list of wedding industry folks to follow and squeeze as many Twitter handles as you can into one tweet, with the hashtag #WW. Or some people choose to support only one or two people per #WW tweet, which is a more personal approach. You may consider crafting a tweet for a single person if you wish to compliment or communicate with that person, be it a wedding blogger or potential business partner.
- Create your own hashtag. Events are great opportunities for creating conversation around hashtags. Award your event a unique hashtag well before the actual date; you'll be able to generate content and discussion about the event before it even begins. Then during the event, encourage participants to tweet with that hashtag with signage and other hashtagged swag. People in attendance both physically and via the web then will be able to follow interesting activities and discussion.
- Organize social dashboards by hashtag. One of the most convenient ways to stay on top of relevant hashtags is to designate easily accessible columns within your social dashboard. Whether you use HootSuite or TweetDeck, you can establish columns by social network, search term, Twitter list or hashtag. Consider adding a wedding-themed hashtag column to check whenever you have a moment. Add further columns as they become relevant, for example, when you launch a hashtag marketing campaign or contest. Then delete the column when the hashtag has run its course.
How do you use hashtags to put your wedding business in the spotlight? Please comment below.
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Thank you again for making this a fun and supportive wedding community,
Christine Dyer, Social Media Expert and Founder of BridalTweet