How to Use Hashtags for Your #Business


rHow to Use Hashtags for Your #Business

Blair Callahan

The hashtag seems to be everywhere now that big-names like Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and Google+ have adopted it, and adapting to its growing popularity is important in the social media world. Businesses with Twitters aren’t the only ones using them anymore, so the hashtag can’t be ignored any longer. Here are some ways to use them:

  1. The most popular way to use hashtags is fairly straightforward—you hashtag a word or group of words to create a link that people can click on to see who else is discussing the same tag that you used. This is a useful way to track how many people are using your specific, original hashtag and what they’re saying. You can start a discussion as a business and people who follow your account can respond and use the hashtag that you promote. Remember that capital letters in tweets don’t matter for search results, but spaces and punctuation won’t register and will mess up the hashtag.

Example: “Food truck rodeo today! Visit us and tweet your favorites using #FayettevilleStreetRaleigh”

  1. If your business wants to give a discount or a deal to the users who use their hashtag in a tweet, it’s an easy way to confirm their participation and their use gets your business’s name on the timelines of their followers. You can also hashtag the name of an event or sale that your business is having, so that people who attend or have questions about the event can use that particular hashtag to discuss it with other attendees or to just show that they’re going.

Example: “Retweet with your favorite salsa flavor and you get one taco on us! Use the hashtag #TacoBellSalsa and show us your tweet when you come in”

Example: “Going to the #JCPennyFlashSale this morning with Lilly!”

  1. Humor and voice is another way to use hashtags. Tweets with clever hashtags by businesses tend to keep their current followers interested in the brand—it might not gain new followers the same way that a searchable, relevant hashtag might, but it keeps your current followers entertained. These can also help demonstrate your brand identity as long as it stays true what the business might possibly say. Following Twitter trends (as long as they’re appropriate) are also good ways to entertain your followers. The trending hashtags are on the left side of your screen, and you can set it so that it shows your area or the entire country.

Example: “We’re sick of this rain at El Rodeo, too! Don’t leave us alone with this queso #eatingitall #comeinandseeus #butreally #quesoisgone”

A good combination of these types of hashtags makes it so that your business’s page isn’t redundant or boring, and that you’re getting good use out of the hashtags that you use. The hashtag isn’t going away anytime soon—no more ignoring its many #uses.

by Blair Callahan on LinkedIN at:

Aso see Martin Brossman’s book on How to Use Hashtags on Amazon at:

How do I use If This Then That?

If This Then That, IFTTT by Cara McLeod @caradmc

If This Then That - IFTTT

If This Then That – IFTT

 Social Media is constant and it never sleeps. That’s why we are all trying to “manage” social media. If you are not on top of it you miss it!  I missed a tweet from one of my favorite local stores about a deal they were offering. Because I didn’t see the tweet I missed the deal. I wanted to find a solution to try and keep on top of information from my favorite sources.

That is when I discovered If This Then That or IFTTT. Their motto is, “Put the internet to work for you.”  You write what they call recipes. Recipes are essentially logic models with triggers and actions.

So I wrote my very first recipe:

 If @tastybeverage tweets, I will receive an email. Below is the recipe.

Picture 1

Pretty simple! Now whenever @tastybeverage tweets I receive an email and I never miss a deal.

 Then I started thinking about the other uses. I have blogs that I follow and wanted to make sure I was notified when they had new content. So I wrote another recipe:

Picture 2

That is how I used the recipes from a consumer stand point. Then I started thinking, how can I use this as a social media manager? Content curation is the first thing that came to mind. We are constantly trying to create new content for our consumers. Why not share information from other followers on Twitter?

 If you have organizations or people you follow that are social media influencers, you can retweet their content automatically. I work with a group of runners. When the magazine Running World tweets information out, I automatically retweet the information. I would use a word of caution, because it is automatic, you want to make sure you are working with trusted sources. I know that Running World is a trusted source that puts good information about running and nutrition.

Another option is when you have a new follower add you on twitter, write a recipe that says thanks for the follow! You can also write a recipe when people retweet your messages that says thanks for the retweet.

 Once you start using IFTTT you can see the recipes are endless! Check out their website at and Facebook Page at There are users that share their recipes and new tips and tricks. I encourage you to try and “manage” your social media using this new tool.

Connect with Cara McLeod on Twitter @caradmc Also found on LinkedIn at: Cara McLeod is also a graduate of The Social Media Management Certificate Training at NC State Technology Training Solutions