A manufacturer’s guide to hashtags

Hashtag generic photo - image courtesy of DFC

The Manufacutrer's digital strategist and growth hacker, Hayden Richards, offers practical advice on the benefits of social media and hashtags.

Hayden Richards, digital native & growth hacker, The Manufacturer
Hayden Richards, digital native & growth hacker, The Manufacturer.

Speaking with the operations director of a medium-sized manufacturer about using social media, I was asked the following: “Everyone says that we should be using the primary social networks, certainly the marketing departments, but how do we actually realise business value from this activity?”

I sensed that the current struggle is in actually determining which networks deliver the best value and which ones are best to ignore. The answer of course depends on a variety of factors.

I believe manufacturers of all sizes as a minimum should definitely consider a presence on at least LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+/YouTube.

And within those platforms, you would be surprised at the amount of coverage and reach your brand can be exposed to if your marketing includes the use of hashtags.

The humble hashtag began on Twitter in 2007, but was then quickly adopted by other social networks. As I write this article, #energy is currently generating 100,000 messages, created by a 46,000 authors within a reach of 111.7 million people.

Certainly quite a crowded space, but it’s possible to drill down and identify conversations that are specific to your niche.

For example, Solar specialists using #solar would be able to engage with 6,000 authors generating content that could be seen by 14 million people.

When using hashtags you want to keep them short and concise leaving no punctuation and spaces.

@TheManufacturer surpasses 15,000 engaged followers on Twitter.
@TheManufacturer has now surpassed 16,000 engaged followers on Twitter.

Google+ automatic adds the relevant hashtags to your updates which you can then edit. Google search places high emphasis on Google+ hashtags within search results. Twitter is also user-friendly by displaying trends located in your left sidebar with a list of hashtags that you may be interested in.

You can use Twitter’s filters to generate hashtags based on the people that you are following, useful for monitoring the competition. One to two hashtags in a tweet average a 21% engagement rate, include more than two hashtags and your engagement drops by 17%.

On Facebook use of hashtags are on the increase with 10 or more hashtags averaging 188 post interactions. Facebook #searches are not limited solely to people in your network. For the ultimate guide read this resource: bit.ly/1Cwa0R7