Hashing Out Hashtags

Hashtags are a great way for social media users; mainly Twitter tweeters to mark keywords or topics that others may be interested in. Once a hashtag becomes popular they are called Trending Topics and become very popular and will have users from all over commenting on them.

While the fishing community is quite large, rarely do many fishing specific hashtags make the trending topics list. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use hashtags, nor that they aren’t popular among anglers, just that there are more non-anglers using Twitter right now, let’s change that trend.

How To Use Hashtags
Hashtags are just words within your tweet, but become a true hashtag when you add the “#” symbol before them. Your hashtag can appear anywhere within your tweet. When you use a hashtag it is key to remember not to add a space within your #hashtag, if you do it invalidates your hashtag.

Hashtags can be as unique as your tweet and can and should be your store’s name, town or your own name. You can also go on to Twitter and either view the Trending Topics or just put various hashtags in the search field and see what others are tweeting about. This will help your tweets be seen by fellow fishing enthusiasts and get your tweets viewed and grouped with theirs. Using hashtags correctly should also increase your number of followers once they see you are someone they should follow.

How Not to Use Hashtags
Since hashtags are a part of social media, you need to remember proper etiquette when using them and use them properly. You should also remember that anything you hashtag the public can and will see. Social media sites are public, and the public who are your customers will see your hashtags and discover you this way. Your only interaction with someone may be through a post with a hashtag, abusing hashtags or using them wrong could lead them to have the wrong idea about you. Certain hashtags also carry certain meanings, some silly and some are very serious, misusing hashtags may confuse your followers, or others following the hashtag. When in doubt either look at what others are tweeting about with that hashtag, or avoid using it.

Another hashtag rule is to use no more than two hashtags in a post. Using too many hashtags in a post makes them harder to read and dilutes their usefulness. How many different topics can you really cover in 140 characters of a tweet? If you need to use more than two hashtags send a second or a third tweet out to get everything you need to say covered.

Finally make sure the hashtag you are using is relevant to your message. Throwing a hashtag in from the trending topics just to get your tweet viewed is not a good practice to adopt and if you continue to do so will quickly see your followers list shrink. People want to associate themselves with leaders, not with someone who is out of touch or someone who abuses the system.

Selling with Hashtags
While hashtags are great to promote you and your business, they are also a great tool to use to sell products with. Imagine receiving a shipment of the newest lure everyone is dying to try out. Post that they are in stock and use the hashtag of the manufacturer or the lure itself and watch what happens.

Use your geographic location as a hashtag and direct anglers who are looking for a shop local to that area to your store. Many travelers do searches on social media using hashtags to see what is going on locally, this is a great way to get your store’s name in front of them. Once they see a few posts with the geographic location used as the hashtag they may look at your other posts and come in and shop. You can also use hashtags generically, such as #sale, #fishing or even #tip. Play with the hashtags to see which ones bring in more followers and eventually new customers.

Social media is here to stay and hopefully these articles help you embrace this new technology and way to attract customers. FishingTackleRetailer.com will attempt to keep you informed, but feel free to ask us for advice or suggestions if you still have questions. If there are topics you would like to see covered ask us about them as well. Feel free to post your comments, questions or suggestions on our Facebook page, LinkedIn group or just send us a tweet.