Hashtags and sales
I have to admit: This message is not intuitive. It is probably not even guaranteed that every reader heard about hashtags at all. To bring us all on the same level of understanding: The social network Twitter uses so called hashtags as filter criteria.
Anybody who wants to add a message to a specific topic just adds the hash (#) to a word, e.g. #myhashtag – and now the message can be found by anybody who looks for this term.
This makes sense to bundle your own twitter messages to others of the same topic like #elearning, #marketing, #sales etc.
But you can of course create special tags for your own events or your own business to market this tag on any channel, like for example #gardenuity does with success (greetings to Brandi Miles, take a look at her profile on twitter @brandimiles84).
Which hashtags are useful
One of the difficult questions is of course: What hashtags shall I use for my own messages? Who would ever search for #mysuperproduct ?
So the magic is to find out what people are looking for at the moment, what is trendy and on what hashtags do others address the market.
And of course I want to know in which area I am in. So if I sell flowers, I would look for hashtags around #flowers. And if I sell consulting, I would look for hashtags around #consulting.
Finding the right hashtags
If you are analyzing hashtag usage on Twitter, you will find a flood of tools. I will only mention those I use myself. My personal favorite is RiteTag.
Use case: Writing posts
Before I used Ritetag, I worked like a complete idiot on Twitter. I wrote posts or retweeted posts with hastags that made sense from my point of view. When I started using RiteTag, the analytics of my taggings of the past months showed my, that it has been almost impossible for people to find my posts.
RiteTag is pretty easy to understand and works the way I expect it to work: If you write a post, RiteTag tells you if your posts are likely to be found by others, suggests appropriate tags, helps you to schedule the post and asks you to re-post with other tags.
RiteTag simply ensures that your posts will be found. If you want more details, just take a look at their webpage.
Use case: Searching the best hashtags
The other thing I do with Ritetag is hashtag research. So if I want to know which tags are relevant for my own topics, I can enter e.g. #Socialmedia and Ritetag tells me which surrounding hashtags are useful for my own messages to target a specific audience.
Aside RiteTag I tried around with Hashtagify that gives you fancy graphs about top hashtags.
Too abstract for a sales person?
In case I lost some readers on the way down to this chapter, I am sorry, but I try to get you back on track.
Why is that relevant for a sales person?
Sales is about finding the right person to talk to. The right person is someone who shares the interest in things you can sell.
So far everybody should follow my thoughts.
Hashtags represent topics of interest. And people who follow a specific topic for which you can deliver services or products are your target audience. Pretty easy.
Now that you found the right audience, the job is like always: get in touch with the human beings behind the Twitter profiles, start a conversation, ask them to take a look at your about.me profile, invite them to join you on LinkedIn etc. You know the job.
Most sales people I know have never thought of using Twitter analytics tools to boost their sales performance. But sometimes you must think laterally to open new doors before others do.
Hashtags are no more than indicators for peoples’ interests. And hashtagging tools like RiteTag help you to understand your audience better.
I recommend any company to add hashtag analytics to their marketing campaigns and to not only listen to hashtags but create own hashtags in their campaigns (see what @brandimiles84 does on twitter with #gardenuity).
Has any sales asked you yet, if you followed their current campaign hashtag #getmore4less ? And if somebody would have asked you, would you have become curious what that is about?
Well, if so, the sales already has you being hooked.