Facebook HashtagsTwitter is one of the most effective means of getting into a conversation on social media.  You can quite literally converse with people who have chosen to connect with you or who just happen to have an interest in common simply by choosing your wording carefully.

If for example you were interested in looking at conversations relevant to your neighbourhood you might opt to search for that.  In our case, we’re based in Clontarf in Dublin so we’ve opted to look at what’s being discussed about the area on twitter.

Once you’ve logged into twitter – in this case we’re using twitter.com on the web, no third party programmes – you’ll see top right there’s a search box.  In our example we’ve opted to include  a hashtag or # to denote conversations which have specifically mentioned Clontarf and we’ve highlighted this with #Clontarf .

Twitter Clontarf - The Marketing Shop

 

Once you’ve input your search query you’ll see a range of conversations which have taken place recently and included #Clontarf in their tweets specifically.  Had we omitted the # in this case we would have seen some additional tweets around the area so the # is something we’d recommend when you want to finely tune those conversation threads.

You can choose whether to display your results by all tweets, by those you follow or by top tweets i.e. those that have proved to be most popular.

You’ll also note in our example that top left under ‘tweets’ there are some ‘people’ suggested.  Twitter will have recognised these individual accounts as contributing to conversations in or around Clontarf for our example and this can be a handy place to find people you have something in common with.

Once you’ve found the conversation of your choice, if appropriate you can simply click on the tweet and hit ‘reply’ and the conversation may or may not follow.

If you wish to send a tweet to send into the stream, you would simply tweet along the lines of;

#Clontarf - The Marketing Shop

 

The #Clontarf takes my tweet into the conversation stream for those interested in Clontarf – and people may or may not decide to respond to me based on it.

Conversations take place all day every day on twitter and at the moment some of those we would suggest as good for interaction would include;

  • #SMEcommunity – a support network of Irish SME’s talking about what matters to SME’s
  • #ddirl – the # designated by the programme makers to Dragon’s Den Ireland 2013
  • #vinb – Tonight with Vincent Browne on TV3, always a busy # discussing the news of the day

And please, as somebody who sees over-use of twitter hashtags everyday remember that with hashtags less is more and that this is NOT a good look for you or your business;

Twitter hashtags - The Marketing Shop

This might well send my tweet into eight different potential conversation threads but for those following me it’s confusing, unfocused and indeed not pleasant to read.  Those interested in #Ireland could well be tourists and have zero interest in the services I offer and might therefore consider me spam.

Personally I would recommend using no more than 2-3 hashtags if necessary in a tweet but ideally one clearly defines what your conversation is about and is more likely to encourage interaction that you’re interested in.

Think about what interests you, search for the conversation and get tweeting.

If you don’t get a response don’t be disheartened, tweeting your favourite celebrity with several hundred thousand followers may not necessarily result in a response as many, many others do the same but it has been known to happen.  Tweeting people who may have a common interest which you can tell from their twitter bio or their indeed their tweets is more likely to result in a dialogue that interests both parties and help you enjoy twitter as you’ve intended to whether that’s for business or pleasure.

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