How Hashtags Can Build Your Twitter Audience

Twitter users are all-too-familiar with the hashtag that follows an increasing number of Tweets these days. The hashtag has even made its way over to Facebook, where cross-posters make it more than a little out of place.

But for those using Twitter for marketing, the hashtag can loom large, like a tool everyone else seems to understand. Before someone even delves into whyhashtags are useful, it becomes clear that, at the very least, it’s important to use them as a way to fit in.

What is a Hashtag?
Twitter is a simple concept. People express themselves in 140-character bursts, with the option to add links and photos. But, at its base, the site keeps itself as straightforward as possible. Still, users clamor for a way to easily follow entire conversations. When a person adds a hashtag, followed by a word or series of words, to the end of a Tweet, that term is now searchable, pulling up every other Tweet that used that word string.

So when a major TV event like the Academy Awards is taking place, viewers can feel as though they are watching with thousands of other Twitter users, simply by placing #oscars at the end of a Tweet. This creates a chat room-like atmosphere that allows Acadamy Award-watchers to feel as though they are watching the show together.

Hashtags for SEO
For marketers, hashtags provide a valuable opportunity to optimize content for better search engine results. A search for the aforementioned #oscars hashtag, for instance, brings a person immediately to the #oscars search results page within Twitter. For a business interested in promoting tires or plumbing services, this could prove invaluable.

For best results, try to come up with one or two hashtags that will become your business’s online identity. Changing hashtags can be useful, but you’ll have better search engine results if you stick with the same one or two. Avoid choosing the same generic hashtag that many others in your industry use. The key is to set yourself apart.

Join in the Conversation
One of the best features of hashtags is that they encourage worldwide conversation. Search for hashtags that relate to your industry and reply and/or retweet. Be sure to add the hashtag to the end of your Tweet in order to stay in the conversation. You may find others soon respond to your insightful comments and choose to follow you, which is what social networking is all about.

If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, Hashtagify.me is a great site that studies today’s popular keywords and how they relate to each other in order to determine current trends. Twitter itself logs the trends for each day with a top ten list on everyone’s feed. Aside from the promoted hashtag on this top ten list, the others are a fairly good match for what people are talking about around water coolers all over the country at any given time.

While hashtags are definitely optional for Twitter users, incorporating them into your Tweets will give your followers the impression that you are a social media savvy person. The right use can give you the added benefit of meeting new people and featuring prominently in search results, making your Twitter marketing campaign a success.

During 2003, John Lessnau popularized Text Link Advertising when he founded LinkAdage.com

John is working at doing the same thing 10 years later with social media links at his new website SocialLinkMart.com. Social Link Mart is an open Social Media Link Marketplace for SEOs, website owners, and social media enthusiasts to buy Facebook likes or buy and sell Facebook Shares, Google Plus Shares, and Twitter Tweets. Social link sellers are ranked by social media authority which keeps the bots and spammers out and real people in.