Twitter for #B2B: How to Increase Exposure with Hashtags
Twitter is a massive social network with over 105 million users, many who are propects for B2B companies. Any comprehensive B2B social-media marketing campaign should include a B2B Twitter strategy that makes smart use of hashtags—the “#” sign that precedes some words in tweets.
How do Hashtags work?
Hashtags organize Twitter communications, or tweets, into relevant categories. A hashtag is implemented by using the number symbol directly next to the target word, for example, #hashtag. There must be no spaces in your hashtag, or it will not register. Hashtags become a hyperlink in Twitter, and users may follow the hashtag link to see other tweets in the same category. In this sense, your tweets will reach not only your company’s direct network, but also those who follow the topics in your hashtags. For this reason, it is important to choose highly effective B2B Twitter hashtags.
The idea with B2B Twitter marketing is to reach prospects who will become your customers and help spread your message to other potential customers. You won’t accomplish this goal with overly generic hashtags.
You want to use hashtags that have enough interest that you’ll significantly broaden your reach to legitimate sales prospects, but these “niche” hashtags must be specific enough to target those prospects.
Which Hashtags are the Most Effective?
Stuffing your tweets with random hashtags is ineffective and may actually damage your business. Avoid using overly generic hashtags, or ones that have massive followings. These hashtags are used so frequently that it is safe to assume that even those following the topic won’t see your communication.
Your hashtag should always support the tweet that you are sending. Using irrelevant, high-volume hashtags to try to promote your business does not work (i.e., #JustinBieber, #Egypt or other irrelevant trending topic). B2B Twitter hashtags are effective when they are relevant to your business and targeted specifically to your audience.
How Can Businesses Create Unique Hashtags?
One great way to ensure that your B2B Twitter hashtags will attract attention is to make your own. First do a little research on Twitter itself and on sites such as hashtags.org, TweetChat, wefollow, and Twitterfall. Look for hashtags that relate directly to what you’re marketing. And don’t stop when you find a relevant hashtag—you can usually find multiple hashtags that refer to essentially the same thing.
As Twitter users and real life clients start talking about your company, they may share your hashtag with other Twitter users and spark discussions in your category. The best hashtags for a B2B will not be a company name, but something catchy about which people have something to say. For your tech-based business, select a B2B Twitter hashtag such as #greatgadgets. Be careful not to use a hashtag that’s arcane or confusing (such as unfamiliar acronyms).
All you need to do to create a new hashtag is to begin using it in your tweets. Spread the word through your tweets and watch your hashtag gain popularity. You can track the success of the hashtags that you wish to use with websites such as hashtag.org, tagal.us and twubs.com.
Martine Hunter is the creative director of inbound marketing with the Atlanta advertising agency, MLT Creative, which specializes in B2B marketing. She holds the Inbound Marketing professional certification and serves the Atlanta chapter of the Business Marketing Association as president of the board of directors.