As a small business owner, you’re infused with a clear vision of what you want for your business. You know what your business stands for, and you may even know what you need to do to help your business grow into what you want it to become.
What you may not know is how to connect with current and potential customers when they aren’t thinking about your business. There are many ways you can do this, one of which involves a free “tool” you can use just about anywhere online.
Particularly on social media, a well-placed hashtag can embed you in the middle of a conversation that is relevant to you and your customers. Or, if you’re feeling spunky, you can start a new one. The symbol formerly known as the pound sign (#) gives you the opportunity to engage customers in an organic dialogue — outside of your shop.
A well-placed hashtag can embed you in the middle of a conversation that is relevant to you and your customers.
One way to bring prospective customers to your business’ social presence is to join a conversation that’s already happening. For example, the first week of May is Small Business Week. During this week, use the hashtag #SmallBusinessWeek to remind other businesses, and your customers, that this is a week to celebrate the contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners: AKA you. (Cake optional for this party, but preferred.)
In 2016, the top three trending topics on Twitter were #Rio2016, #Election2016 and #PokemonGo. Staying in tune to these trends can be beneficial. If you join the conversation that revolves around these topics in the right way, at the right time, you can engage current and prospective customers in a positive dialogue on social media.
Every day of the week literally has its own hashtag. Days like #wcw (Woman Crush Wednesday) and #mcm (Man Crush Monday) likely won’t be relevant to your small business.
However, if you’re in the fitness business, you can take advantage of #tt (Transformation Tuesday) on Instagram to show the healthy bods of your customers. And if you really want to hit a sweet spot to gain some extra followers, aim for hashtags with less than 300K uses – that’ll make sure your posts don’t get buried.
If you’d rather not piggyback on the same days everyone else is using, then own a day in your own way. If you’re in the restaurant business, you could create a miniaturized version of your menu on Tuesdays, then tag images of the plates with #TapasTuesday. Or, to honor your coffee brewers, seamstresses or mobile app designers, you could dedicate every Monday to an employee of the week with the hashtag #MeetYourMaker. Just try to keep tags between 10-15 characters. If you’re true to yourself, your customers will like, love and retweet your bespoke hashtags.
Remember to keep hashtags clear and concise, between 10-15 characters.
When conceiving hashtags for your business’s tweets, remember to keep them clear and concise. For example, use the ubiquitous (and useful) #SmallBiz instead of #SmallBusiness. Rare is the 30-character tag that trends.
Another strategy is to use industry-specific hashtags to begin a dialogue with newsmakers within your industry, or engage with similar small businesses on social media in a positive way. Those connections could spark potential collaborations that help everyone involved. You never know who might respond, bringing new followers — and potential customers — tailored just to your business.
Finally, try creating hashtags that are highly personal, just like your small business. If it comes from the heart, people will gravitate to it, just as they’re drawn to you and your business.
Need additional help for your business? Learn more about small business solutions from AT&T.
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