How to Catapult Your Tweets Farther? Use a Powerful Hashtag!

How to Catapult Your Tweets Farther? Use a Powerful Hashtag!

How to Catapult Your Tweets Farther? Use a Powerful Hashtag!

What if I told you there was a free way to give your tweet wings, and let it travel farther and last longer? Would you want to join that club? I know would! Hashtags have entered popular culture these days, with TV shows, baseball teams, and just about everyone using them to organize searches. If you’ve never used a hashtag before, you might want to check out the basics.

Hashtags are Easy

Hashtags are Easy

Hashtags are Easy

Here’s the skinny: Tweets with hashtags receive twice the engagement of tweets without hashtags. So if you’re considering whether to hashtag or not, that should help you make up your mind! Not only will people follow others who use similar hashtags (for instance, I have #startups in my Twitter profile, and many startups find me that way), but you can reach out to those with the same hashtags as you. Win-win!

Use One or Two: More is Not Better!

Use One or Two: More is Not Better!

Use One or Two: More is Not Better!

If you use too many hashtags, your engagement will go down. One or two hashtags is fine. More than that, and a tweet is looked upon as spammy.

#203K Hashtag for Mortgage Loans via Hashtagify

#203K Hashtag for Mortgage Loans via Hashtagify

Neat Tools to Help with Hashtags

  • Hashtagify – tells you hashtags related to your hashtags. For instance, if you’re a loan broker, and wanted to use the hashtag #203K, you could see what other hashtags you could use along with that hashtag.
  • TweetReach – tells you how far your hashtag has traveled. For instance, I use it during my tweet chat, #DigiBlogChat, and then tell everyone the numbers during the chat (and later on Facebook as well). If you don’t know what a tweet chat is, you might want to check out this post on 101 tips for success with tweet chats.
  • Hashtags.org – tells you what hashtags are trending on Twitter right now. So theoretically, you could catch a trend before it gets big and ride the wave all the way in.

Hashtags As Snark

Hashtags used to be used to sort, group, and categorize tweets. But then one day, not too long ago, people started using hashtags to self-identify, and add an Element of Snark to posts. Now people are using “air hashtags,” and according to some, ruining the English language. So if the hashtag #FirstWorldProblems doesn’t get your metadata all up in a knot, then you might like using hashtags in a snarky manner. #JustTryingToKeepItFun

Click Through

One very effective way to use a hashtag is to see who else is using it. For instance, if you’re using a location-based hashtag, click on it and see who else is nearby! For instance, this weekend is the inauguration. Heck, you could even go to Top Hashtags (dot com), type “inauguration” and see what the top hashtags are if you’re going. Or use the hashtag of your city, county, or state, and see who else is out there.

How Do You Hashtag?

Do you use hashtags? Or do you think they’re ruining the English language? Leave me a comment! And thank you.

 

 

How to Avoid Writing Bad Pinterest Headlines and Get Found

How to Avoid Writing Bad Pinterest Headlines and Get Found

How to Avoid Writing Bad Pinterest Headlines and Get Found

This is one of those topics I’ve been meaning to write about for a while. Ok, here’s the deal. You need to think about what you write on your Pinterest pins as being searchable headlines. Because they are. Searchable, that is. After you read this post, you’ll have a clearer idea of how to write the text for your pins. I call it headline writing because it’s similar. For how to write other types of headlines, you might like this article, Headline Writing: 10 Reasons It’s a Pain in the Asterisk.

Pinterest is a Huge Search Engine

Pinterest is a Huge Search Engine

Pinterest is a Huge Search Engine

This is a thing that many marketers don’t get. Pinterest is a search engine. Pinterest does a lot of stuff that Google doesn’t. Here’s a fantastic article about Pinterest Search, by the way. So if you write “this is great,” or “hoo boy” on an otherwise great pin, nobody is going to find that pin. It could theoretically come across someone’s stream, but for the most part, it will be invisible.

How Do You Search?

How Do You Search?

How Do You Search?

Think about how you search. Get on Pinterest right now and do a search for “carnitas.” Now look at the guided search results. You can refine your search by adding the words “Mexican,” “Slow Cooker,” “Paleo,” etc. If your recipe includes all those terms already, why not include those words in your description?

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

Here are some examples of bad, better, and best descriptions, using the carnitas example from the last paragraph:

Bad Headline: Yummy recipe!
Better Headline: Delicious Pork Carnitas Recipe!
Best: Mexican Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas – Super easy pulled pork recipe and an amazing way to get juicy, mouth-watering results!

You can see from your search on Carnitas that the top search results already have quite a few good search terms, plus a beautiful, vertical image.

Description Length

Don’t make the mistake a lot of people make and include only a character or a single word in your pin’s description. Add information that lets other pinners know what is behind the pin. Is there simply an image? Is there a full article about cruises to the Mediterranean? Some studies show that descriptions should be 200 characters long to be the most repinnable.

Best Words

Some words are better than other words for Pinterest. You may want to use your own keywords, if you know them, in your pinned blog posts. Take a look at Mashable’s article most popular searches, by country, for 2015. Can any of them be applied to what you pin? Your pin might not necessarily go viral, but you could get a few more repins by using better terms, even if those words aren’t about mason jars, cats, or DIY pallet projects!

Make Your Description Flow

Make Your Description Flow

Make Your Description Flow

Write in a concise, short sentence, if possible. If you must use a phrase, make sure it makes sense. For instance, if you’re pinning something from your own blog, describe what it’s about and why someone would want to click on the link.

Avoid Hashtags

When Pinterest first appeared on the scene, people used hashtags. Sometimes too many hashtags. Now Pinterest is moving away from hashtags, and if your post has too many hashtags, your pin could be labeled as spam.

Pinterest Image Sizes

No post about Pinterest would be complete without a discussion on pin size. You might have a fabulous description with keywords, but a lousy picture. Don’t do that! Here’s a good article on pin sizes. That said, the longer, skinnier pins do the best on Pinterest.

Study Your Own Pins

Study Your Own Pins! The pin above has been repinned nearly 7,000 times.

Study Your Own Pins

Which of your own pins has been popular? For instance, the pin above continues to be repinned one year after it was pinned! Can you tell why? Repeat what you did with that pin, if possible!

 

 

Twitter: Best Practices

Twitter Best Practices

Twitter Best Practices

You’ve heard so much about Twitter and how to tweet, schedule, run tweetchats, etc. You may be running your own account, or managing one for someone else. What best practices still apply? Here are some things I’ve learned over about six years.

Talk to People

I’m tired of saying to engage, so will say it another way: talk to people. Chat with them, thank them, tell them stuff, retweet their pictures, read their articles and blogs, laugh at their jokes. You know–much like you would in real life! As Derek Silvers says in his video there’s A Real Person A Lot Like You on the other side of that computer. Hat tip to bestie Bridget Willard (@YouTooCanBeGuru) for that video.

Subscribe to Toyota Equipment's Lists on Twitter

Subscribe to Toyota Equipment’s Lists on Twitter

Use Lists

Lists are the great underutilized tool of Twitter. Here’s my post about lists for the power user if you’d like to read it. And if you want to see an example of someone who really uses lists, check out Toyota Equipment’s (@ToyotaEquipment) lists. While you’re there, follow them and subscribe to a few lists. You won’t be sorry.

Discover the Discovery Tab

If you click on the Discovery tab, while you’re on Twitter, you’ll see a mix of popular tweets and tweets from those you know and like. It’s an easy way to find content to retweet, see what’s trending among friends, and catch up quickly.

The Hashtag Can Sarcastically Undercut Your Own Tweet

The Hashtag Can Sarcastically Undercut Your Own Tweet

Employ Hashtags

A hashtag helps you organize your tweets, find others’ tweets, have a decent tweetchat, and mock your own tweet. It has even evolved into something else, as this fab article from the New York Times, In Praise of the Hashtag, points out.

Retweet with an Image

If you want to be a super resource, tweet someone else’s link, but add an image! This super charges their tweet, and makes both of you look good. Here’s the how-to directly from Twitter. It takes maybe 15 more seconds to do.

Report Spammers

Twitter is a community. Reporting spammers helps everyone. Most spammers don’t last too long on Twitter because they tend to get shut down fairly quickly. Wouldn’t it be nice, though, as Hunter Walk says, if Twitter closed the loop and told us how our efforts stop spammers? Yes, it would be.

Follow People

Don’t be a snob. You don’t know who people know. For instance, there’s a contractor who doesn’t follow me back because I’m not in his neighborhood. Little does he know I live about 10 miles away from him! And I run accounts that would retweet his content and probably also use his services. I tend to follow anyone who looks legit if their content is at all interesting. I don’t follow bots, spammers, porn accounts, or repetitious accounts.

Join Tweetchats!

Want to know who’s real and who talks? Join tweetchats in your area of expertise and interest. For fun, you could even engage in some way outside your usual area. If you’d like to join mine, it’s #DigiBlogChat (Tuesdays at 1 pm PST). Here’s my post about how to participate in tweetchats.

Twitter isn't all glitter and unicorns

Twitter isn’t all glitter and unicorns

Believe in the Power

Twitter isn’t all unicorns and fairy dust and glitter. But you can meet real people. You can discover your own deeper interests, keep up on the news, enter contests (if that’s your thing), or even donate a kidney, as my buddy Amy Donohue (@TheFabSocial) did. (Her tweetchat on live organ donation is #KidneyChat Mondays at 7 pm pst, by the way).

What’s Your Favorite Best Practice?

Did I forget one? Probably. What’s yours?

 

Twitter as a Listening Tool

Listening Tool 60 kb

One day, while chatting on Twitter, I got this tweet from @Tsledzik, above, and got to thinking about how to use Twitter as a listening tool. Yes, everyeone says Twitter can be used that way, but how does that work? What does that look like on a day-to-day basis? Large companies or brands can search on their own names or special hashtags. But how can a Startup just starting out or smaller company use Twitter as a listening platform? Here are a few simple ideas.

Use Twitter to Listen

Use Twitter to Listen

Click on @ mentions

From the Twitter client, click on the @ or connect sign right at the top of the screen. Your interactions will appear in the column and you can easily thank or respond to people. Yes, this is basic, but some people only seem to use Twitter to broadcast, and listening doesn’t even occur to them.

Use Hashtags to Search

Use Hashtags to Search

Not only can you use hashtags to allow people to search for your tweets, you can use them to search for any topic you can think of that might allow you to start conversations. For example, type in #Startup in the search bar to find others tweeting about startups. In the example above, I searched on #Startup problems, with only the word “startup” hashtagged (it’s unlikely that #StartupProblems would give many results). Now you have a whole string of possible people to talk to. Note: the top result is promoted, and like the top search results on Google, you may want to overlook it.

Create a List

You may want to listen to local news through Twitter, or what people in a certain geographic area are saying. You can create a list called “Locals” or “San Francisco” and add people to that list. This is a great way to cut down on the “noise” of Twitter. And you can make your list private or public, depending upon whether you want to be in stealth mode.

Trending Topics

Trending Topics

Another easy way to listen on Twitter is to monitor trending topics. They are in the left-hand column. When I wrote this post, #ParentsFavoriteLine was trending, which seemed to be mostly kids making fun of things their parents said. That might be a good one for a teacher to monitor. Trending topics change quite often during the day, and are a good way to keep up on popular news. Here’s a fascinating article on MIT’s algorithm on predicting trending topics.

How Do You Listen?

I would love to hear what you have to say! Leave me a comment below! Thank you!

 

Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On FacebookVisit Us On Google PlusVisit Us On PinterestVisit Us On YoutubeVisit Us On LinkedinCheck Our Feed