Advanced Twitter Concepts: Utilizing Hashtags and Trends to Grow Your Business

So now you’ve created your twitter account, you’re tweeting and retweeting fairly regularly, and you have more followers than you’re following, right? Have you been @-mentioned by a brand? Well, Twitter Powerhouse, let’s take it one step further and have you using these two social media buzzwords (that, if said in front of your kids or grandkids, might just have some tiny jaws dropping!).

Hashtagging. Ever wonder what those #things are that show up at the end of people’s #tweets? These are called hashtags, and they denote an important word or subject to help your tweet be more easily found by those searching for that subject. (Incidentally, they also can serve a humorous or ironic purpose by adding another dimension to your tweet) A few examples of hashtags:
Dana Dillehunt ‏ @DanaDillehunt
Tonight, it’s doing my #taxes, watching #StorageWars, and eating leftovers. #glamorous
Dana Dillehunt ‏ @DanaDillehunt
the time I spend wearing exercise clothes is inversely proportional to the time I spend exercising. #fitness
By hashtagging the subject #taxes, it’s very likely that many other people are talking about the same thing, and I will gain followers as well as show up in searches by participating in the “conversation.” Since #StorageWars is both a popular show and was airing at the time I posted my tweet, it was very likely that many others were ALSO talking about it, and I joined the conversation. Hashtags are also links, so when you click on one, twitter will re-direct you to a list of every tweet mentioning that same subject right now. You can start tweeting at them and joining the conversation, which is a great way to interact with people all talking about the same subject (#isotonix, perhaps?). This leads us to TRENDING.
Trending. If enough people are all tweeting about the same subject (by hashtagging it), the subject will be “trending.” This means that, in your twitter sidebar [see IMAGE below], you’ll see all of the most popular topics in real-time.
Mine is set to my location (Greensboro, NC), but you can change yours to represent where you are (which might be helpful if you plan to promote your business locally or interact with those talking about local issues), or Worldwide, so you can see what’s happening everywhere. This is a great opportunity to capitalize on what’s popular to jump into even BIGGER conversations with even MORE people talking about the same subject.
Right now, you should be a tweeting like a pro (probably almost as well as your 4-year-old). Don’t forget to bring it all back here later this week to learn how to put all of these new skills to work for your UnFranchise®!
Have any examples of how you’ve successfully used hashtags or trends for your business? We’d love to hear about them in the comments!