We joined in on #FolksyHour for the first time this week – we’ve been meaning to for ages but Tuesday isn’t a good evening for us social media wise as kids need running about and we’re never back in time! Usually we do get a chance to catch up afterwards, but it’s not the same. So it was great to have a little bit of time finally to join in.
For many people, hashtag hours are an invaluable way of keeping up engagement, and finding out what is going on in their area (location or business sector). For others however, they have no idea what they are, how to find the right ones, or even how to make the most of them.
A hashtag hour is a networking hour, on Twitter. It is a way of building up followers and relationships with other Twitter accounts. They may be within your location, or within your industry, but depending on the hashtag hour you choose to become involved in, you can meet all sorts of people and spread your message very wide indeed.
We asked a few weeks ago which hashtag hours our followers favoured. Here are those that they suggested…
We’ve been involved in some of these in the past, and dipped our toes into others. They feed different markets, as do all hours.
For those of you taking a look at these hashtag hours for the first time, you may feel that some of them seem like a battle for the amount of products you’ve got for sale in your shop, and there doesn’t seem to be a lot of point around the tweeting – after all you’ve got to share to your target audience, rather than sharing to a large number of other creative makers. However, there are opportunities to see what others are doing which may sit alongside your products well, or elements of art and craft that you don’t do but want to own in your home, or give as gifts. We are all customers after all. So keep an open mind when first exploring, and work out whether they are the right place for you to be.
Other hours are much more about how you can grow your business – whether that is more about how Instagram can work for you, or how to plan your content correctly. These are much more useful in a strategic business sense, and it is worth getting involved in these to get some valuable business advice.
We would recommend not jumping straight into a hashtag hour, but observe for a few weeks. Make sure it is the right place for you – as there is no point putting effort in if it isn’t going to gain you anything. And observing is always useful as you can get a good idea of how people talk to each other, and what they are talking about. It’s not all going to be relevant to you, but it is worth making the effort to see if it will be first.
Don’t focus entirely on hashtag hours; it may be that you want to dip in every now and again to see what is going on. If this is your strategy however, remember that trust is a big thing and it is important that if you are focusing on building relationships with other businesses, it’s best if you retain that engagement.
Using a hashtag hour to promote an event or a product launch, for example, is a great addition to your marketing. But that marketing will work better, and be spread wider if you’ve already got a relationship with those included in the hashtag hour. Jumping right in with some promo tweets without any prior engagement or sharing won’t necessarily work.
Combining a selection of hashtag hours, along with regular tweeting including other relevant hashtags is an efficient way of approaching your twitter marketing. Find out the hashtags relevant to what you are promoting or talking about and remember to include them in your tweets. Remember that a hashtag is a search term, so if someone is searching for your subject, if you haven’t included a hashtag, there is little possibility it will be found.
And remember to keep an eye on other hashtags that users are including. We have set up various streams on our Tweetdeck account so we can always keep an eye on what is going on. There are various online tools that can help you see what hashtags people are using, such as hashtagify.me or mentionmapp.
We are currently offering Twitter boosts in the form of getting involved in a hashtag hour for your business. If you would like to find out more please get in touch! And we’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Tweet us with your favourites, including the hashtag #creativebusiness.
We’ll see you over there!
The CBN Team x
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01884 266045 / 07969 044006