What is a Hashtag and Why is it Important?

As a Social Media Manager and Consultant, I am often asked – “What’s a hashtag?”

This question is often followed by questions like, “What is the purpose of Twitter?”, and “Is Instagram something I should be on?”.

The answers to each of these questions can be lengthy, which furthers the idea that social media can be a complicated and overwhelming concept – not just for our customers, but for many other professionals. That is why I would like to take a step back from more complicated social media strategy today and focus on the basics.

A hashtag is defined by Mashable.com as a “short link (s) proceeded by the pound sign (#)”.

Further, hashtags are used on social media platforms to define/group together different posts. They are mostly used on Twitter and Instagram (Facebook has attempted to implement them, but has had less success).

Let’s explain with an example.

If I wanted to share the same article referenced above from Mashable.com on our company’s Twitter page, I might compose a tweet that looks something like the following, “Let’s Start from the Beginning. What is a hashtag?  #socialmedia #socialmediamarketing”.

Notice, I provided some teaser information regarding the article content, then I added the link, and lastly I added the hashtags.

But why? Isn’t it obvious that the tweet is about social media and social media marketing since you are discussing hashtags?

Sure it is, but because I used the hashtags, whenever someone searches social media or social media marketing in the Twitter search bar, my Tweet will show up. Without those hashtags, my Tweet would remain buried in the “Twittersphere”.

Why would someone search the term “social media” on Twitter?

Twitter is a great place to find content and to search for information. I use Twitter to look for interesting articles, and frankly to keep up on current events since I don’t watch TV. More importantly, I am not alone. There is a myriad of customers out there who are looking for information on Twitter, so why not be the expert?

How does this help my business?

Whenever you use a new hashtag, you are identifying yourself, or your company, to new followers. New followers = new potential customers.

Some Guidelines for selecting Hashtags 

1. All hashtags are 1 word (even if that is grammatically incorrect).  Notice above that I made both social media and social media marketing 1 word.

2. It is not a hashtag if the word is not proceeded by the pound sign (#). You may see people using the @ sign for posts on both Twitter and Instagram, but that is a tag, not a hashtag, and the explanation of that will be left for another blog post.

3. When you start typing in a hashtag, Twitter will start to auto-populate suggested hashtags. Please use the suggested hashtags. Why? They have already been used, and probably have already been searched, which means more eyes on your Tweet.

4. There are always 10 trending hashtags or words on Twitter. The “Trending” box is a snapshot of what people are discussing on Twitter at that very moment. If big events present themselves, and are not too controversial to include in your business social media marketing, then I recommend tweeting about them. For example, right now as I am typing this Thierry Henry is trending, that’s because he is a major soccer player who just retired. Since I myself am a soccer fan, I might Tweet out something positive about Henry’s career, and that might gain me a few new followers.

You might be thinking, “But that has nothing to do with my business, so why would I tweet that?”. My response to you would be, “Does your customer base include soccer fans?”.

Food for thought…

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Social Media Marketing for Brands is Really About Listening

Now a days a following on most social media channels can be purchased. There isn’t anything wrong with purchasing your following, however it doesn’t look good for a brand to have an extensive following and almost no engagement.

What do I mean by engagement? 

Your followers should be engaged with the things that you are posting on your social media channels. Engagement is measured based on the number of likes, comments, shares, retweets, impressions, and other social channel specific measures.

Why is engagement important? 

Engagement not only boosts your social media presence, it shows that the information you are choosing to share with your social following actually provides some value.

Some brands have a large following and decent engagement, but they spend their time talking to their potential clients and not listening.

Listening includes a variety of different types of engagement across social media platforms; all of which are important.

Firstly, you should always take the time to like, comment and share on other pages. Your Facebook page will not magically gain a following by posting information, you need to engage with others to get others to engage with you.

Secondly, you need to reply when people leave you a comment. At some point, you may have too many followers to reply to them all, but at least take the time to like their comment. Making this a habit will only increase your engagement in the future.

Lastly, search social platforms to see what people are saying about you and your brand. For example, if you sent out a tweet saying that you were unhappy with a company’s service, and they responded to your tweet saying that they were sorry you had a poor experience, and possibly offered you a discount on future services, wouldn’t this change your view of that company?

Not to mention, if you are managing the presence your brand has on social media, someone else will.

If you have any further questions about social media, or you would like to schedule a social media consultation, please send us an email at socialmedia@airevue.com

How to Create a Lookalike Audience on Facebook

FACEBOOK

How does it work? A lookalike audience will give you with a large group of people who “look like” the people who already like your page. Meaning, they will have similar demographics. This is the same as someone saying, can I give you 1,000,000 people who are demographically just like your contact list?

Why is this good for your business? You can use these audiences that are created through Facebook algorithms to advertise specifically to people who are like the people who already like your page. In essence, it makes your advertising demographics even more specific. Keep in mind you have to have at least 100 likes in order to use this tool.

In order to create a Lookalike audience, you go to Promote Business (on the top right of your business page) –> Ads Manager. Once you are in the Ads Manager, you want to select “Audiences” in the left hand side bar. Then you want to select the Create Audience tab.

You have the option to create a custom audience, or a lookalike audience.

All you have to select for your custom audience is:

1) Which page’s following you want to be targeted

2) Which country you want targeted

3) Whether you want them to focus more on Similarity (people who look very similar to those who already like your page) or Reach (reaching more people who may have fewer similarities to those who like your page).

It will take anywhere from 45 minutes to 24 hours for Facebook to generate your Lookalike Audience Once they do, then you can run an ad that targets those people specifically.

LinkedIn New Cover Photo

LinkedInBlogPhoto

LinkedIn has started to add the Cover Photo option to free accounts.

LinkedIn added the cover photo option for Premium accounts back in June, and since July, they have been adding this option to some free accounts (The Social Media Hat).

The purpose of your LinkedIn account is to house your professional profile: past and current jobs, accomplishments, awards, volunteer opportunities, etc. Your LinkedIn account should give an accurate, and up to date, picture of who you are as a professional. Treat is as a very thorough resume.

LinkedIn has started to add more visual options such as photo covers and visual file uploads to make the social site more flexible. We suggest you take advantage of these capabilities, and use this space to show off your professional personality.

I chose to go with Fall leaves since this is my absolute favorite time of year, and I will continue to adapt and change this decor space as the year goes on.

The size information for this photo is 1400 pixel width by 425 pixel height, in jpeg, png, or gif format. The file size must also be less than 4MB.

If you need assistance creating professional looking cover photos on LinkedIn, or any other social media site, please send us an email at socialmedia@airevue.com

How to Run a Facebook Ad

Facebook ads have been around for some time now. However, you would be amazed how many people aren’t using Facebook ads as part of their marketing strategy.

Usually, its because they are unfamiliar with Facebook tools, and have yet to learn about their success. We highly recommend adding Facebook tools to your marketing strategy.

Facebook has a variety of different tools that can help you find new audiences, target specific people, and boost specific posts. However, if you are just getting started working with social media tools, the Facebook Ad is where you should start.

How do I get started?

1) Have a Facebook Business page. If you don’t have one already, you can contact us to set one up for you socialmedia@airevue.com.

2) Once you have a Facebook business page, you want to go to Build Audience and then Use Ads Manager.

3) Once you are in the Ads Manager, you will want to click on the green “Create Ad” button.

4) Then you will want to select which type of ad you would like to run. If you are hoping to improve website visits, then you will want to select “Clicks to Website”, but if you want to increase the number of likes on your page, then you will want to select “Page Likes”. 

5) Once you have decided what you objective will be, you will want to upload photos that illustrate what your business is about, and what you offer. The ad will automatically grab your Facebook photo cover.

6) You will then want to upload demographics to the ad in order to target specific people. You can be specific to region, gender, age, and interest.

7) Once you have determined your target audience, you will want to set the ad to run for a specific number of days. The ad will default to running continuously if you don’t set an end date. 

Please share with us any successes you have had using Facebook ads.

AV Strategic Partnership

Mason-McDuffie Mortgage Corp has entered into an exclusive partnership with AireVue to manage the social media content of their Loan Officers. Mason-McDuffie Mortgage will be using AireVue’s “VueSocial” service to manage and post content for all of their 80+ Loan Officers.

“We chose AireVue simply because of their vast professional experience with marketing in our industry”, said Marilyn Richardsion, President & CEO of Mason-McDuffie Mortgage. “They understand the compliance landscape and more importantly the social media needs of our Loan Officers”.

“We are very excited to have Mason-McDuffie Mortgage as our first VueSocial client”, said AireVue CEO Jason C. Frazier. “It is an easy partnership because they have the same philosophy as we do. They truly want to be different than their competitors.”