hashtag_PMC Do you remember Stan Lee’s Amazing Fantasy issue #15? On the back panel was written one of the most memorable quotes in Spider-Man history.

With great power there must also come — great responsibility!

This is true with many things, but is especially true with social media. To have a Twitter account is one thing, but to really have a presence on Twitter is something entirely different. Twitter in its massive entirety is a great place to find new prospects to grow your business. With 500 million tweets going out a day, using Twitter to prospect can be like trying to sell a warranty plan in a noisy room. Let’s look at this, because being on Twitter could be like going to a giant fair of everything.

Let’s be honest, a lot of business owners avoid Twitter altogether because they’re afraid of hashtags. Have you ever had a conversation with someone who said that hashtags were silly? Being afraid of that which you don’t understand is a normal human instinct; it is how we’ve survived this long as a species. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, although, in the case of hashtags, it is completely unnecessary. Hashtags are a powerful tool and once understood can be extremely useful in prospecting for your company.

hashtagWhat is a hashtag?

A hashtag is a pound sign (#) directly followed by a description (#whatisahashtag). It may seem a bit odd or trendy at first, but the truth is that the hashtag has been around for a lot longer than many people realize. It was originally utilized in the 70’s for computer programming before evolving into what it is today.

It doesn’t seem that the general population is quite aware how far the amount of data expands on the horizon of social networking. Let me give you a small example. When is the last time you looked back at your Facebook timeline? How far back does it go? How much information is there about you or your life on there? Now multiply all of that information by over a billion (because that’s how many users there are on Facebook). What we now know is that the amount of data that we do have is infinite; like the universe, it continues to expand and evolve. With that much information at our disposal, how on earth are we to maneuver through the chaos of it all? The answer: hashtags—navigators of the 21st Century.

So, if data is like the universe, hashtags would be like a GPS of sorts where we can plug in a destination to transport us to a specific location, or in this particular case to a specific topic of interest. Does it still seem silly? I sure hope not because let me put it this way, if it wasn’t for that silly hashtag the 2011 Egyptian Uprising (followed by many more hashtag revolutions in the middle east) may not have existed at all.   Hashtags are powerful and when used right they have the ability to increase engagement by 100%. That said here are just a few ways to make use of them in your prospecting efforts.

#CapnStache

Create engagement by using brand specific hashtags

Cap’n Crunch did it with their #CapnStache promo. What they did was put a cut out mustache on the back of their cereal box and urged their buyers to post a picture of themselves on Twitter wearing the stache. Their engagement was remarkable. Check it out for yourself on Twitter using #capnstacheentry1. This was a great way for Cap’n Crunch to engage with their buyers. Here are some questions to help grease the gears. What is your brand? What are you trying to sell? How might you create a brand specific hashtag?

Use hashtags to search and connect to leads

So here’s the deal: as of 2015, there are over 300 million people using Twitter. There’s a good chance that your lead is on there. The question is how do you connect with them? First of all, you need to look for them. Second, follow them. Watch their tweets. What hashtags are they using? How can you engage them in conversations perhaps using common hashtags? You can re-tweet their content and you can mention (@mentions) them in tweets to engage them directly.

Share lots of content

Whether it is other peoples’ content, your content, quotes, or maybe even the content of your prospects, sharing anything on twitter with good use of hashtags is a good way to stay in front of your prospects and perhaps even attract new leads. It’s also a good way to engage with groups that are posting similar content. It’s about networking, educating, and developing trust in relationships. Twitter is different than LinkedIn for social networking. If you’re going to be a ghost on Twitter, most likely no one will see you. Try to get others to share your content. The best sales are often those that come by word of mouth.

Those are just a few ways hashtags can help you prospect. The truth is that the power of hashtags in social networking is immense and it’s going to keep growing.   If you’re not on board now, you’re going to have some catching up to do later. Why not give it a try and see if you can find some new prospects and maybe make some friends along the way? Good luck on your journey! Just remember issue #15 and try not to start any revolutions!


Jennifer_Grace_PrintMediaCentrJennifer Grace is a proud to be millennial who works as a Sales & Marketing Specialist at The Dingley Press. Dingley specializes in catalog printing and Jen is lucky enough to be stationed in the manufacturing facility where the presses run 24/7.   When it comes to print and catalogs, one thing is for sure, Jen does not lack enthusiasm. To read more of her articles you can check out Dingley’s blog site or connect with her on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

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