(This is a comparison post to show the value of marking up your post. Compare the post you’re reading to this one. There are some differences in content, but only because I’ve updated the one you’re reading now, and treat this one as the “real” post)
Short Video on a Comparison Between Searching Twitter With and Without Hashtags
Twitter searching can be interesting. Sometimes you find exactly what you want, and sometimes you feel like you’ve dropped into one of the rabbit holes in Alice in Wonderland. What is this, and why is it in my search return??
Hashtags can make things easier, but what is the difference between searching with hashtags, and searching those same words without hashtags attached? The answer is not always simple. Sometimes the search return is very similar, and other times it is quite different.
I thought I would put together a quick comparison to show you what one search might look like. This is by no means exhaustive, but just a quick glimpse. You should definitely experiment, and for sure study your keywords and hashtags in your demo to better understand your audience.
Can Hashtags Help You Know Your Customer Better?
This brings us to a recurring theme in everything we do here, which is the never-ending process of studying your customer. You simply cannot spend too much time understanding who your customer base is, because the better you know who they are, the better you’ll know how they make decisions. When you get down to the fundamentals, you’re learning how your customer behaves online in the process of solving their problem.
Social media, for a young medium, has evolved perhaps more and faster than any new technology in history. Neither Facebook or Twitter was on the scene before 2007, and that was just a short 8 years ago. Trying to measure the amount of change in any one of the 7-10 major social media channels in that short a time is all but impossible.
How Can The Small Business Owner Hope to Keep Up?
Here’s the one thing we can count on: these channels will always evolve in the direction of helping their users have a better user experience, and solve problems in their life better or easier.
Here’s why this is true:
Better and more relevant user experience generally means more users
More users means more eyeballs
More eyeballs means more ad revenue
There are, of course, derailments in this train of relevance and usefulness, but this tends to be true. Thus, you can use hashtags in a relevant way and know that you don’t have anything to worry about. If you’re spammy, you’ll eventually get caught. When spammy people get caught, it’s not pretty. Accounts get frozen or deleted, data or audience is lost, kids are crying, it’s just bad.
But How Can I, The Lowly Business Owner, Stay On The Right Path?
First and always, serve your customer. Post relevant, useful content, always. How can you do this consistently, and still use hashtags?
Here are a few thoughts:
The Hashtag should serve the Headline, and the Headline should serve the Content
The Content, of course, must serve the customer
Work to find unique angles to the core ideas you’re trying to get across
Be funny. If you can’t be funny, don’t try. Find someone else to be funny on your behalf
Copy your competition
As I said before, you can reverse engineer the desires of social media networks and use that knowledge to make your content more relevant.
Twitter is no different, and I hope this short search comparison (in the video above) and list of tips helps. You can see from one to the other that there are some similarities, but there are key differences. Take a look at the video, and feel free to share your thoughts. I’d love your feedback.