“The brand lives in connections.” This simple—yet powerful—statement from Noah Brier, co-founder of Percolate, emphasizes the importance of social media. Yet compelling as it is, we can take this statement one step further: I offer that your brand can also live in hashtags.
Twitter offers an amazing tool for networking, generating business leads, sharing valuable content, and creating buzz for products and ideas. If you are not an avid Twitter user but would like to start, let me give you a good reason. The Twitter protocol known as the “hashtag” (or # symbol), which marks keywords or topics in a user’s tweet, has been making waves in the Twittersphere. Twitter users first crafted this approach as an organic way of categorizing messages. It may have come from humble roots, but these days the power behind the hashtag is enormous.
“Twitter Chat” is the New Neon Sign on the Road to Creating Value
Twitter Chat could be one of the most powerful communication methods ever conceived, swinging the door wide open for new networking opportunities. This medium represents a new global discussion forum with the power to bring together people from areas as small as a city or as big as a globe—all at the same place, at the same time. You can use Twitter Chat to meet and tweet about relevant business topics or other shared interests. A very popular example is the Marketer Monday chat or #MMchat, one of the longest running weekly Twitter chats. The first #MMchat took place on July 26, 2010, with Rick Wion as a guest. Now at 86 weekly chats and counting, #MMchat continues to feature other noteworthy guests. Its largest chat generated over 2,000 tweets and 20 million Twitter impressions in a single hour.
“Building your own community on Twitter is about creating value in terms of content and relationships. Even more basic than that, it’s about giving, not taking,” says Kent Huffman (@KentHuffman), founder of #MarketerMonday (aka #MM), Co-Publisher of Social Media Marketing Magazine and author of 8 Mandates for Social Media Marketing Success. Kent’s #MarketerMonday concept, first implemented in order to suggest which marketers to follow, became the inspiration for #MMChat (held every Monday at 8 p.m. EST). Just follow/search the #MMchat hashtag on Twitter. #MMchat is sponsored by @TheSocialCMO and was created by Jeff Ashcroft (@JeffAshcroft), Founder, another social media visionary.
Administrators make an electronic transcription to serve as a record of each chat. To give you a feel for a Twitter chat flow, here is a link to a recent #MMchat on The Role of DNA in the Future of Marketing. To view more chat transcripts just visit The Social CMO blog where they are posted each week.
More Important Ways Twitter Hashtags Can Boost Your Business
Hashtags function like a lighthouse to attract Twitter users to content that may be of interest. The number of ways a business can use hashtags has become quite extensive. However, it’s important that you don’t think of a hashtag as a place, but as a conversation.
Here are several ways to use Hashtags:
Audi Scores Big with #solongvampires
In the 2012 Super Bowl, Audi created a very different kind of ad that featured a vampire bringing a special gift to a party. As the audience wondered why Audi would associate its brand with vampires, the ad’s true objective became known: introduce Audi’s new LED headlights, which turn nighttime into daylight—of course, a vampire’s worst enemy! As the vampires disappear one by one, we are led to the final frame in the commercial: #solongvampires. Viewers were encouraged to go to the hashtag to register their opinion. Twitter users responded in droves, meaning the hashtag had successfully extended the brand’s reach. Other links on this topic:
Audi’s 30-second Super Bowl Ad: “Vampire Party”