Monday, September 07, 2009

SMB Hash Tags

I'm writing a long article on "Twitter in One Lesson" for the September Promotion Monkey Newsletter. One of the tips I give is that you should be sure to use hash tags. No, there's no dope involved.

Hash tags look like #this. A better example would be #promomonkey.

Twitter has a handy little search field on the right side of the screen. You can search for whatever you want. To help categorize things, one of the norms that evolved is to put a hash mark (#) in front of a keyword. Then people can search for that and find related tweets.

Right below the search field is a list of current “hot” topics on Twitter. If you can get a bunch of people to tweet back and forth about your topic at the same time, you might show up on this list, drawing in even more traffic.

Within any post, the hash tag is also a search link. So, if you click on #marketing, Twitter will give you search results for that hash tag — and maybe you’ll find someone new to follow.

Key Point: If you put out useful hash tags and someone clicks on one, you’ll need to have interesting things there. It’s a great way to increase your following! It gets back to the same old message on content: Be useful and interesting and people will consider you a contributor and opinion leader!

Acknowledging Others

It is very good form to help promote others by using their hash tags when discussing their products. Gives them more visibility. And they may return the favor.

Sample hash tag Usage:

Here’s a practical use for that: Coming up on September 23rd in Chicago, I'm going to hold a seminar on Zero Downtime Migrations. (I'll be joined by Vlad Mazek from #OWN and #ExchangeDefender.)

Anyway, I'm going to ask any twitterers in the crowd to use the hash tag #ZDTM so everyone else on the planet can get a taste of what's going on. We'll have someone go to and search for the #ZDTM hash tag. Then they can follow the activity and even solicit questions from far afield.

See how useful that is?

- - - - -

So let's agree on some hash tags for the SMB Community.

Here are some that either make sense or have already been used:

#GLB - Great Little Book
#HTG - Heartland Technology Groups
#OWN - Own Web Now
#TBG - Taylor Business Groups
#ZDTM - Zero Downtime Migration
#Zenith - Zenith Infotech

Please propose others in the comments section. I apologize to anyone whose (obvious) hash tag I missed. Obviously, you can add every product or company under the sun.

Important Safety Tip: keep it short. #IDidntThinkAboutTheTagTilIStartedTyping doesn't work if you want people to retweet and stay within 140 characters.

Feedback Welcome.

Thanks @karlpalachuk - #GLB


Join Me In Chicago September 23rd
Seminar - Introduction to Zero Downtime Migrations

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