How to use a hashtagIf you’ve ever been on Twitter for more than 2 minutes, you probably know what a hashtag is.

Just in case you don’t: a hashtag is a word with a # symbol in front of it and it’s used to categorise and group conversations that are happening on micro blogging services such as Twitter.

Using hashtags can help your tweet get more attention, retweets and clicks and even help you build followers.

But there is a problem.

According to this research from social media management software provider Argyle Social many marketing professionals use hashtags ineffectively.

In the research they analysed more than 37,000 total tweets from 103 Twitter business accounts. They found out that some companies got much more clicks from their tweets containing hashtags than others.

Using hashtags: what doesn’t work?

Hashtags do not work when the words you use are too generic. Too broad. For example, the research shows that hashtags like #socialmedia, #business, #sales or #crm are too generic. People are not following these because there is too much ‘noise’ to filter out.

The same goes for hashtags like #superbowl or hashtags from large conferences like #adtech or #sxsw, because these hashtags fly by quicker than anyone can read.

Using hashtags: what does work?

Hashtags need to be relevant, targeted and occur naturally in the conversation. Think for instance of:

  • Moderately sized conferences and lectures: e.g. #iabceme, #MP2011
  • Causes: e.g. #haiti, #giveasmile
  • Highly engaged groups: e.g. #crisiscompit, #glutenfree, #oilspill
  • Create your own: e.g. #nerdbird, #blogchat

Key insight for marketers, PRs and business communicators when using hashtags

On the social web you need to get much more targeted than you were used to in mass communications. It’s not about reaching many people. It’s about reaching the people who really want to hear what you have to say and will share it with their peers.

To do that you have to think specifically about what exactly people are interested in. What are the most relevant hashtags about the topic you have to offer. Then create the right hashtag or combinations of hashtags, that will get the right message to the right audience.

Happy #hashtagging!

At the moment about 20 million people are on Google Plus, Google’s newly launched social network. Many of those are tech innovators, social media marketing experts and online early adapters.

This is the traditional way of growing a user base. First pioneers and innovators, then early majority, late majorty and finally laggards. This is how Facebook grew for instance.

Google Plus has the opportunity to do this differently. They need to deploy the pincer movement. The pincer movement is a military maneuver, where both flanks of the opponent are simultaneously attacked.

[Read more...]

Wow. Shocking.

As it turns out, Linkedin has sneakily changed it’s members account settings, so that their name and face can be used in advertsing messages on the Linkedin platform.

Ehrm… What?!

[Read more...]

Import Facebook Photos and Pictures into Google Plus automaticallyLast month I wrote a post about how to import your Facebook pictures into Google Plus.You can do this manually by first downloading your Facebook photos and then uploading them into your G+ Photo albums.

In the comment section of my post some people were kind enough to point out some alternate ways of importing your Facebook photos into Google Plus.

You can for instance use Photograbber, which also allows you to download your friends photos or any other photos that have you tagged for instance.

An interesting comment came from Christopher Russell who wrote a post about importing your Facebook photos into G+ using a recently released Chrome browser app.

[Read more...]

Pretty exciting days for social media gurus and marketers! Google has just launched its own social network: Google Plus.

Google+ is a truly innovative product, that works completely differently to Facebook. The question is: will Google+ sail or fail? Time will tell. Google is pretty sure about it – they are putting their brand on the line.

[Read more...]

Import Facebook photo albums into Google PlusUnfortunately, there is not yet an app that automatically moves all your Facebook pictures to Google Plus.

But there is a way around it.

[Read more...]

A few days ago I received my invite for Google Plus and finally got in. Jeey!

I am still pretty psyched about this product. It’s cool! But the question is: is this new social network going to become mainstream? Is it gonna sail or fail?

I still think that the ‘Circles’ functionality is pretty awesome. It allows you to share stuff only with the people in a certain circle.

But herein lies the problem. When I first got into Google Plus, I rushed over to the ‘Circles’ department and was eager to give it horns. But 5 minutes later I was still staring at screen, asking myself two questions:

[Read more...]

getting started on TwitterFor newbees Twitter always seems like the most mystical social media channel. What is it? How does it work? How do I get followers? How do I know what to tweet about?

In the last year I have written quite a few posts about Twitter that answer questions like the above.

[Read more...]

Just last week, Google started testing their much talked about social network called ‘Google Plus’.

Emerald Sea painting inspiration Google Plus

At first I was really surprised to see Google launching this product under the Google brand name because ‘social’ just isn’t a part of Google’s brand DNA. Google is about search. To ‘google’ even became a verb.

So, if Google wants to grab marketshare in ‘social’ it would be logical to launch it under a different brand name, right? Just like they took a bite out of the browser market using the brand name Chrome.

But after reading this article in Wired, I understood better why Google is launching this social network under their own brand name:

Google is repositioning itself.

[Read more...]

This week Google started ‘field testing’ it’s new social network called Google Plus with a limited group of users. As a result, the whole internet is now talking about Google Plus.

But getting people talking about their products has never been Google’s problem.

The problem has been in developing ‘social’ products that people actually use. Products like Google Buzz and Google Wave have never been adopted by a mainstream world wide audience.

[Read more...]