Do You Hashtag to Generate Leads For Your Business?

#hashtagI’ve been thinking about how small business owners can use a hashtag to generate leads for their business. We all read how important it is to use #hashtags in our social media posts. But I’m guilty of being slack in using a #hashtag when I could, and I’m guilty of never having taken the time to search by #hashtag on Twitter or Facebook.

So I asked over on my Facebook page, “how many of you actually search for a topic or person by #hashtag?” I got a lot of responses. Here’s the breakdown of what people said.

More business owners use #hashtags than not, but the margin isn’t wide. 19 said, “Yes, I use them” and 16 said no. By a wide margin, people use #hashtags on Twitter more than any other social media site. Instagram came in second. Only two people said they used hashtags on Facebook.

Why not use hashtags?

  • They were too “old school” and weren’t use to it
  • Others felt it would not bring them business or lead generation.
  • One person thought hashtags were annoying and still another person called them “tiresome.”

The reasons to use a #hashtag?

  • Most use them to search for people who they want to connect with or who might be prospects.
  • Fewer used them for searching topics, although those that do this find it very helpful.
  • One person reported that using them in the online communities she was in was a great way to get conversations started among people of similar interests.

Nina Modaresi suggested that it’s beneficial to run a question/answer session with your clients or prospective audience during a product launch or an event and link that QA session to a specific #hashtag. My friend Debbie Saviano believes that using a #hashtag is like giving a post a mini headline, which I think is a cool idea!

Connie Ragen Green says that she uses hashtags regularly in her groups. I’m going to ask her for an example of that and see if she’ll reply on this post, as I’m not sure if she means groups that she runs or those she participates in (or both!).

Everyone seems to agree that using hashtags on Instagram is necessary more than on any other site, by the way.

Tip: If you’re in to using them, you can use something like RiteTag to find out how useful your hashtags are.

I’d love to hear your stories about how you have used hashtags to benefit your business, so please chime in below. Are you a #hashtag user, yes or no? And why or why not?

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    Comments

    1. says

      As you know, I am a hashtagger, for sure! I’ve gotten clients and sold books via hashtags. I do try to mix it up with some posts on Facebook, in particular, with no hashtags. People seem to find them most annoying there. One thing you can do is skip a line and add the hashtags at the end of the post kind of like the tags on blogs and YouTube.

      I do like the Mini Headline idea, too!

      XO,

      Katherine

      Katherine C. H. E.
      Author, Be True Rich

    2. says

      Interesting topic. I use them on Twitter a lot and have just started using them on facebook – when I do tweets and posts. I must admit, that I seldom search for a topic unless a notice a hashtag and then want to see what others are saying about the topic.

      I had not heard of Ritetag and will be checking it out – thanks!

    3. says

      I use hashtags to search topics and people. I also use them to categorize my content so that others can find my stuff when they search. I do get new followers that way, particularly on Twitter and Instagram.

    4. says

      Hi Sue,
      Thanks so much for mentioning me in your post. I use hashtags to help my readers focused on what I am sharing that day. They seem to help emphasize what the message is about and to keep the follow up comments from getting off track. Also, my hashtags tend to be more serious in nature. I am much more likely to use something like #entrepreneurs rather than #loveworkingatthebeach.
      My #hashtag days began when I spent much more time over at Twitter, and once Facebook embraced the concept I already understood the reasoning behind it.
      You can also follow the trends with your hashtags, perhaps making it easier to be found by those searching for specific information on any given day.
      Connie Ragen Green

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