Hashtag Roundup

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Hashtag Roundup

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Hashtags have become a common practice these days; people use them for all sorts of purposes. You find them in text messages, chats, songs and advertisements. But where did it all begin? Turns out a former Google developer and California techie named Chris Messina posted a message in 2007 to solicit advise on using the hashtag symbol, then known as the pound sign, as an idea for groups on social media. He was met with mixed reviews at the time but the trend took off. So much so that in June of 2014, the Oxford English Dictionary added the hashtag to their definitions.


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What are hashtags used for?

Hashtags are the card catalogue of social media. The metadata tag system connects your content with other people talking about the same things or looking for information about something. So, if you write an article about using Twitter for Business and use the #TwitterTips hashtag, more people will find your content.


Hashtag Tracking

When you’re thinking of hashtags, it’s beneficial to look at your audience and your competitors. Find the keywords and hashtags that are already associated with your brand and boost them. There are many tools to help you find keywords. A simple trick I have learned is to use the search feature in both Twitter and Instagram. Instagram actually provides a number count for how many people are looking for the specific keywords when you plug them in.

Hashtag usage and effectiveness varies by platform. They will enhance your engagement if used properly. Engagement includes clicks, retweets, favorites, and replies.

Let’s take a quick look at each platform and the use of hashtags.


Facebook

On Facebook hashtags are not as well received as on other platforms. Research has shown they actually lower engagement. So a good rule of thumb is less is more. 1-2 hashtags are best for Facebook. You don’t want to be perceived as a hashtag spammer. You can use the search tool on Facebook in the graph section to see what is trending.

Twitter & Instagram

On these platforms hashtags are readily received and can increase your reach significantly. Tweets with hashtags get two times more engagement than tweets without. Some brands have seen a 50 percent increase with the use of hashtags according to HubSpot, a leading digital trend agency.

Instagram is ground zero for hashtag use. The platform has noted up to 30 hashtags used but 10 or 11 seem to get the highest interaction.


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Google+

This platform has gone the way of the less used social media portals but is still worth mentioning. Google+ is Google’s social network; hashtags were built right into Google searches. If you type in a hashtag search, you’ll get the normal search results plus a sidebar of relevant Google+ posts.

Pinterest

Brands use Pinterest to showcase products in a visual sense. For tagging you can only place tags in the description section. The tag use helps searcher to find categories of interest.


Rule of thumb: 1 – 3 tags are best over all platforms.

  • Twitter: to categorize
  • Pinterest: to brand, build like communities and be specific (tags are only clickable in pin descriptions)
  • Instagram: to build community, and be unique/detailed. Up to 30 hashtags can be used. For best results stick with 10+
  • Google+: to categorize; auto generates tags based on what it thinks your post is most relevant to
  • Facebook: sort of a hashtag free zone – if your audience is very business-minded, follow Twitter rules; if it is community-oriented, follow Pinterest/Instagram rules

Check out these resources

  1. Hashtagify.me

Hashtagify.me provides a cross referencing tool for data you can use to analyze hashtags. When you type in a hashtag, you see other hashtags and a display of how popular each hashtag. This also provides a glimpse into what key influencers are using.

  1. RiteTag

This site provides a visual organization of hashtags into colored bars showing quick analysis at-a-glance. This allows you to see what is overused or saturated and what words would be good to boost your posts.

  1. Tagboard

The results pages on Tagboard show hash tagged posts from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, and Pinterest.

  1. Twitalyzer

Twitalyzer helps you audit competitors and can tell you what hashtags they use most frequently. This can be really helpful in finding out how your niche’s influencers tweet.

  1. Tweepi.com

If you are looking for more twitter followers try this tool. Plug in your interests and industry key words and Tweepi can help identify followers and groups to grow your lists.


Summary Tips

  1. Plug in relevant keywords to your business and the audience you are trying to target. (If you are a local business, use the name of your Geo Address too).
  2. Keep it simple on most platforms, less is more when it comes to hashtags.
  3. Put your #hashtag in the end of the #sentence. That makes #reading the sentence #lessannoying.
  4. If your brand piggybacks on popular hashtags, you could increase your visibility and reach. They are great for tracking events and see what others are posting.
  5. Try some of the tools noted and see which the best is for you. Some offer free services and others provide price based packages.

Jodi Cross is a marketing strategist, writer, blogger and brand builder. For more information visit www.crossnm.com or jcross@crossm.com .

Source Information on trends referenced from Hubspot.

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Blitz Your Way To New Business

 

Blitz Your Way To New Business

By: Jodi Cross

When was the last time a business owner or representative came to your business and invited you to try their products or services? This is not a new concept and some would argue that sales blitzes or cold calling are no longer effective. But, it is one of the first projects I organized years ago at my hotel sales job.


Recently, CNMI worked with a client to organize a sales blitz of local accounts. The blitz resulted in almost 10K in definite business and nearly 150K in prospects. Like anything else effective results are in the planning and follow up. One thing is for sure, sales blitzes can be a lot of fun and they get people out of a business as usual slump!


Before you begin to organize, identify the key business goals, special offers and need periods. Create your special offers and leave behind collateral based on those pre-determined business goals.


Here are my four “T’s” to blitzing your way to success.


Teams Sales is everyone’s job, without it your business will not succeed. Be sure to target enough time to get all the blitz materials together and team members oriented. 15-20 days in advance is usually a good planning cycle.

  • Identify a leader- usually your head sales person is best suited to manage the efforts.
  • Create cross-functional teams by including all departments.
  • Anchor teams with seasoned sales professionals and pair them with a junior manager from another department. Cross promote specials and offers collectively.

Territories– Use Google maps or your local city and street addresses to carve out target zones with in a 10-mile radius.

  • Set anchor calls in key buildings so you don’t have any problems with security.
  • Target about 30-50 calls for your teams per day.
  • Make your appointments on slow days like Monday’s and Tuesday’s.

Theme’s/Treats-I go back to my original question of when was the last time someone invited you to do business with them and gave you a gift. In this post e-mail, Internet world many of us rarely come out from behind our computer screen let alone thank our customers personally or invite them to work with us. My background is in the hospitality industry. We are in the business to be welcoming and hospitable. What better way to make someone feel good than to thank them for doing business with you or invite them to try your services.  This isn’t unique to the hospitality industry but it certainly is one nice advantage.  Any business owner can do it. Over the holiday’s, my broker from Edward Jones actually dropped off homemade cranberry relish to my office.

  • If you are promoting holiday parties, drop of Santa cookies and wear reindeer ears. You certainly will get the office talking.
  • Perhaps you are looking for more wedding business, dress up in formal wear and leave behind wedding favors.
  • If you are in the spa business, try bringing scented aromatherapy and leave behind a token gift with a bounce back coupon valid for the next month.

You get the idea.


Tracking- All this effort will be for not if you don’t measure and track the results.

  • Set a morning meeting and nightly recap to gather the team’s cards and tracking sheets.
  • Keep a centralized report on all activities and follow up items.
  • Track revenue for all business units. Just because you were looking for catering business but ended up finding a golf member prospect that still benefits the company.
  • Develop an action item plan for follow-up that the sales team or other managers can pursue immediately while the blitz is still happening.
 

With a concerted effort and a little organization your business can see immediate results from conducting a sales blitz.

To obtain your own sales blitz tracking sheet, email Jodi Cross at jcross@crossnm.com.



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