Socedo is all about helping customers grow their business by scaling their lead generation on social media, so naturally we use our own platform to help promote our services on social media. While doing this, we’ve discovered some interesting patterns in the ways people post and engage on Twitter.
We figured, with the usefulness and widespread popularity of hashtags, that posts containing them would be more prevalent and therefore more engaging. Obviously, right? Well it turns out that isn’t always the case. So we’ve identified some of these trends to help you make sense of this hashtag madness and help you decide what your posts should include to align with your #Twittergoals.
The Hard Truth About Hashtags
It’s worth stating that hashtags are still a very popular and useful part of effectively marketing on social media. But we wanted to do a deeper dive on this trend to get a better sense of its effectiveness. Previous research didn’t show much rhyme or reason as far as hashtags are concerned. Sometimes users are tweeting a hashtag (e.g. #digitalmarketing) more than its keyword version (digital marketing); sometimes that trend can do a complete 180. And there’s evidence to show that hashtags are often very subject-related, and are Tweeted only 47% as often.
To identify a pattern, we looked at how often a few popular marketing topics are tweeted each week and compared how often keywords were stated as hashtags versus plain text.
It turns out that sometimes a topic appears more as a keyword than a hashtag:
- “Marketing automation” 7,500/week vs. #marketingautomation 1,600/week
- “Email marketing” 29,000/week vs. #emailmarketing 2,900/week
- “Online marketing” 38,000/week vs. #onlinemarketing 10,000/week
However, certain hashtags can be equally, if not more, popular than plain text:
- “Content Marketing” and #contentmarketing BOTH get 43,000/week
- “Social Media Marketing” 51,000/week vs. #SMM 64,000/week
Notice how #SMM gets more tweets per week, and it’s significantly shorter than “Social Media Marketing”. This variation is important when considering the 140-character limit on Twitter.
The data above only proves that popularity of hashtags varies widely from case to case. So how do you decide which will be more effective in promoting your content and engaging your audience?
It All Depends On Your Goals…
It would be much easier if there was a one-size-fits-all answer for the most effective use of hashtags, but it depends on what your goal is with each post. With that in mind, here are two best-use cases when trying to decide what’s right for you.
Looking for Leads to Grow Your Business
When you’re looking to grow your business directly from social media it’s important to not miss any potential leads, so you should try to use both keywords and hashtags. When searching for prospects utilize keywords and hashtags to cast a wide net to bring the most relevant leads to the top of your funnel. Anyone actively talking or posting about your keywords could be qualified leads that your sales team can then bring down the pipeline. Platforms like Twitter allow you to search these hashtags and keywords, but tools like Socedo can also help make your search more effective and powerful.
Generating an Audience of Engaged Followers
Garnering attention and showcasing your business calls for more strategic choices, and for that you’ll need all the data you can get. The best way to see which kinds of posts grab more attention and engagement is to conduct A/B tests. Remember, you may find that what works for certain pieces of content and people may not work for others, and that’s okay.
It’s important to note that no method works under every circumstance when it comes to posting on Twitter. Only analyzing your results each step of the way will let your company master Twitter and grow your business effectively.