Let’s say you’re writing a vegan cookbook. Wouldn’t it be great to understand what your target audience of food-loving vegans are buzzing about at this exact moment?
Hashtags are one of the keys to Twitter success. Their value is twofold; they help you to (1) discover the tweets that are most relevant to you, and (2) ensure that your tweets make it in front of those who they are most relevant for.
For starters, a hashtag is simply a keyword that is preceded by a “#” sign. For example, #book.
When you see a hashtag in a tweet, it is a live link which, when clicked, will reveal a feed of tweets, across all of Twitter, that include that hashtag. These feeds are what make Twitter so valuable, not to mention, manageable.
Discover the Right Tweets:
You’ll want to use a tool, such as Hootsuite or TweetDeck, which allows you to organize Twitter streams in a dashboard. Create a collection of streams based on hashtags that are most relevant for you.
How do you find relevant hashtags? Use the search function within Twitter itself, or any of the management tools. Type in a hashtag and see what kind of results you get. If the last mention of that hashtag was three days ago, it won’t be a very active stream. However, when tweets are only a few minutes apart, you’ve tapped into a community of other twitterers who are passionate about that topic.
If you’re working on a vegan cookbook, for example, create streams of keywords that will allow you to get a taste of the market and do a bit of research. Try tags such as #vegan, #recipe, #health, #nutrition, and #cookbook.
With such relevant streams on your dashboard, you’ll begin to pick up on other hashtags that this audience uses. After a few weeks of tweaking your feeds, your dashboard can become part of your newspaper-coffee routine, providing you with the latest updates on the subject(s) you’re most passionate about.
What are some of your favorite niche tweets?