To #Tweet or #NotToTweet -That is the #Hashtags Question

Hashtags for Personal vs. Business Twitter Accounts – Even an Adult Can Do It!

children of different races laughing and pointing at computer screen

Newbies – don’t worry – I’ll define terms, like “hashtags,” “trending,” etc. in a hot minute. First, count me in the number of people who thought, “Twitter is a total waste of time! Don’t people have better things to do?”

Two years ago, I would have bet you a hot fudge sundae that I would never use Twitter regularly, much less care about hashtags. However, comma, although my principles remain consistent, my habits change with the times and with things I glean while being a life-long learner.

images of various social media iconsI use many forms of social media (including having multiple websites of my own). The hashtags I use are different for accounts that are “personal,” versus those which are for business. Maybe this will help you decide how hashtags can serve you best for either purpose. First, let’s offer definitions for those who want to know. The rest of you can skip to the next info.

Definition of Hashtags

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Hootsuite is a platform which enables you to use just one place for finding, scheduling, managing, and reporting on social media content. It gives the following information.

What is a hashtag?

Before it became a household term (and even added to the Oxford English Dictionary!), hashtags simply referred to the pound symbol #.

That all changed in 2007 when Twitter began to use the hashtag as a method of indexing keywords to help facilitate good search results for it. Since then, most every social media site has been leveraging hashtags for that same purpose.

To learn more about just too many things not covered in this blog, go to the Hootsuite link here.


What Does “Trending” Mean?

graph paper with colored bars under a magnifying glass showing a growing trend

From Twitter, “trending” – meaning what topics are people talking about on Twitter – is described like this.

How are trends determined?

Trends are determined by an algorithm and, by default, are tailored for you based on who you follow, your interests, and your location. This algorithm identifies topics that are popular now, rather than topics that have been popular for a while or on a daily basis, to help you discover the hottest emerging topics of discussion on Twitter.

You can choose to see trends that are not tailored for you by selecting a specific trends location on twitter.com, iOS, or Android….

Then, Twitter gives instructions for those other options, which you can see by going to this link.


colorful figures of people with questionsOnly infrequently do I look at what subjects are trending. But, if the topic I’m sharing is trending, I incorporate the hashtags used by most people who are commenting currently. That way the largest number of people are more likely to see what I have shared.

On Twitter, you can learn what is trending at any given moment by looking at the left side of your screen. Trending hashtags are listed there and are ever-changing.


How Did This Happen? (Not Once, But Twice!) Tweet Tweet

Personal Stuff

The words,"Public Opinion"on Red and white Road Sign against a blue sky and puffy white clouds backgroundMuch to my surprise, I now have two Twitter accounts, one of which is primarily for discussions about social justice issues and current events. (Yes, that includes politics.)

I don’t share much personal information about me. Nor do I use Twitter as a dating site and prefer not to attract stalkers, hackers, and trolls.

I do follow the most reputable journalists, national and international intelligence professionals, lawyers, and other experts who know and understand a lot more than I do about what’s going on in the world. I’m no dummy, though. I’ve been able to predict numerous things that now are clearly evident to most people.

The hashtags I use in Tweeting those posts signify the nature of the content I’m retweeting. Most of the content on that page IS retweets of facts and opinions held by experts in the field, rather than my own original creations.


A Word Of Caution

figure draped across red international symbol for prohibited (circle with a line through it)If you are seeking clients or employment (or ever will be), you are unwise to make controversial comments and posts on any social media platforms, because prospective employers or clients may be offended and “write you off” before ever looking at your qualifications.

I, on the other hand, do seek work, but I’m passionate about specific issues and have been an active citizen for my whole life. So, in the category of “rules are made to be broken,” I decided people may as well know who I am “from the get-go,” because they certainly will find out after meeting me. I do keep my personal and political thoughts out of the workplace as a matter of professionalism. Still, you should be more cautious than I or be prepared to accept the consequences with equanimity.


Hashtags for Business Accounts

zen basalt stones and orchid with bamboo and white candles on the wood

My other account, @NancyKnowsLife,  is supposed to be a politics-free zone, where I share posts about health, art, writing, music, photography, philosophy, quotable quotes, and whatever else I see that I like from other people’s contributions. Occasionally, I slip in a story about someone who saved an animal or a project to save the environment, ‘cuz those are the kinds of people who follow me.

coffee cup, keyboard, notes, and list of services

Originally, I did not plan for it to be a “business account.” It was intended to be a place where people could find some beauty and uplifting information. Consequently, I have paid little attention to this account, but now that I’m an author, I need to correct my wayward ways.


Do It Right, or Don’t Bother to Tweet

In that context, one of my Twitter buddies, Liz Evangelatos, https://twitter.com/AskForLiz, taught me something very important about using hashtags for branding your business. If you run a business, you want to take every advantage of all branding opportunities. I’ll teach you her trick below. First, let’s start at the beginning. Here is some of what you need to do in simple steps.


Who Is Your Audience?

attendees sit in a circle and raise hands when they can answer questions

Ya gotta choose. That is a hard lesson for me, because my background and interests are varied, and part of my psychology is that I refuse to be “less than I am” by doing just one thing (like writing) for just one audience (like the IT industry, the entertainment industry, non-profits which focus only on XYZ cause, old people, young people, gay, straight, racially or religiously divided people, etc.). But, that’s MY problem. Don’t make it YOURS.


Choose Well

icon seal sign button shield star with the words "Hot Offers"Decide on an area of expertise. You can diversify or add products and services after you’ve proven successful in the first one. Define what makes you, your products, and/or your services different from others in the field. Research who is likely to want, need and be able to afford what you have to offer.


scales balancing heart on the left and brain on the right

Yin Yang

Try to get your heart and mind into synch, so neither of them argues with you too much and you can embrace a clear goal by taking action enthusiastically and consistently.


Mix It Up, But Keep Your Voice

Black chalkboard with words Be Different in white and brilliant green

  1. Do figure out what makes you different from everyone else in the field.
  2. Yet, also choose some hashtags (keywords) that people would use to search for the products and services that you offer.
  3. Keep the hashtags consistent with the “voice” you are using for that brand or set of writings.

My Favorite Tip from Liz

Here’s one of the secrets shared with me by my Twitter friend, Liz Evangelatos, at hello@askforliz.com.

Always use one of your taglines or phrases as a hashtag to help establish your brand. Whenever people see that grouping of hashtagged words, they should think of you and/or your company. That hashtag does not replace your logo, but it becomes the written equivalent of your logo. It should identify you as a unique and reputable brand/business. More on this in another hot minute….   


Research Can Make All the Difference In Whether You Are Trending

the puppet, Pinocchio, with a long nose from lyingReputations matter. If what you’re saying is not true, people either will sense it or can Google it, and you lose credibility. Once you’ve lost it, you’ll never get it back completely.

Use only reliable sources and statements founded on facts, unless your posts clearly are intended to be fiction or fantasy.  Rule: don’t be like the wooden puppet, Pinocchio, whose nose grows longer every time he tells a lie!

books and a laptop for copyediting researchExpertise sells. If you do great research, you are likely to learn things most people don’t know, and this is one way in which you can become known as an expert in the field, thereby attracting many interested followers.


Use Your Hashtags Correctly

Your post is going to have specific content and, hopefully, a relevant picture. Now, we want hashtags, but please don’t make the mistake I did in using too many.

the large number 3 in white on a red circle backgroundThree to a max of five is recommended. Back to the branding secret that my Twitter friend, #AskForLiz, taught me. (BTW, you should go to her web site at . She offers lots of great tips.)

One of my websites is for my writing, editing, training, and small business consulting services. It is under my business name, My Persuasive Presentations, LLC. The emphasis is on writing (whether that be in the form of documents, web content, biographies, or creating classes). So, thanks to Liz, in my @nancyknowslife Twitter account, I now use a tag line from the bottom of this web page (yes, the one you are reading at this moment) in all my posts fit for business consumption. However, I have chosen only the part which says, “Do It The Write Way.”

Of course, the rest of that tag line is, “Let My Fingers Do Your Talking,” but that line – or the two in combination – is just 2, 2, 2, 2 long for a Twitter hashtag.

Keep it simple. Keep it short.


In summary, design your hashtags, your picture, and the headline of your post to make your point, even if the viewer gets no farther than seeing them. You even could include your business phone number as a way of having everything to lead back to YOU.


Speaking of Pictures? What About Them?

Use Pictures of Babies, Animals, or Food!

Sleep Like a Baby CD cover baby lying on colorful towels with blue sky and white cloud in the background

What? Yes, it is true that this is a good idea. Research has shown people are most likely to check out your content when those kinds of pictures are at the beginning of your post. Cats, dogs, babies, and edibles are the most popular.

Is It An Awkward or Unlikely Fit? Get Inspired!

What if you’re a business owner, and your business has absolutely nothing to do with babies, animals, or food? Get creative and put some fun into it. For example, if you want to let your rocket scientist clients know you’re going on vacation, consider a picture like this.

dog, wearing huge sunglasses, is relaxing on a fancy red hammock at the beach

If you want to write about changing a corporate culture from decision-making based on emotions, rather than on data analyses, consider using something like this picture as your starting point. Then, you could describe what a child would do in a case study, versus what a data-driven adult would do…in the kindest, gentlest way, of course.

blond, pouty-looking girl eating banana -


Be Careful

People have very different life experiences and frames of references. Words that mean one thing to you could mean something entirely different to another person.

stack of DVD'sIf I see the word “record,” I’m likely to think of a device that plays music.

 

orange-handled scissors cutting divorce papers with orange flower and petals lying on the documentSomeone else will think of a piece of paper on which there is a record of a transaction or an event.

 

figure behind bars in a jail cellStill another person will think of a prison record.

These examples are pretty innocuous. However, it is very easy to unintentionally offend others by using “code words” that indicate prejudice or which affect others negatively because they misunderstand your meaning or intent.

How Do Your Followers Think?

Care About the Answers

You cannot please everyone, but use common sense and common knowledge. Put yourself into the mindset of your chosen audience and go from there.

Just think carefully before you “hit send.” A Tweet can “go viral” in seconds, and you can never get it back. Again, choose purposefully if you:

  • have a business
  • are now or someday will be seeking clients or employment
  • simply want to have the reputation of an intelligent, ethical, and caring person.

You can if you think you can - inspirational handwriting on a napkin with a yellow cup of coffeeHope this was helpful. As always, your questions and comments are welcome.

#Do It The Write Way!

#Let My Fingers Do Your Talking!

 

About Nancy Ayanna Wyatt

In addition to being a writer/editor, creator of infographics, and a highly engaging presenter and trainer, I am an ethical, energetic, and multi-faceted manager, demonstrably successful in directing human and financial resource allocation, contract administration, policies and procedures development, and supervisory functions. I have managed diverse departments, ranging from business offices to police, to name only two, while working for multi-national corporations, non-profits, higher education, state government, and small businesses. I have created extensive procedures, manuals, and training programs. I use the Internet, MS Office Suite, and presenter software. I have created 3 Word Press websites "from scratch." I sell photos on merchandise at https://pixels.com/profiles/nancyayanna-wyatt. My earned reputation is for fair play and for keeping people informed at all levels. I am praised often for my communication skills, which include listening, public speaking, writing and editing, training, and interpersonal relationships with people of all ages, cultures and hierarchical levels. An example of a presentation is "How To Start A Business," for which I provide extensive notes in English and Spanish. https://mypersuasivepresentations.com/classes-how-to-start-business/. Seminars on many topics may be booked through my website or by calling me. You also may hire me to create/and or present new teaching or training projects!

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