Discover how you can use Twitter hashtags to find prospects and get business intelligence.
This is the second of a three-part Twitter research tutorial, in pictures. I’ve created screen shots that relate to my nonprofit, SCORE Chicago, to use as examples. SCORE, “Counselors to America’s Small Business,” offers free business counseling and inexpensive business workshops to entrepreneurs and small business owners. One of our most important keyword phrases is business plan Chicago.
A Twitter hashtag looks like this: #. On Twitter, these are used as keywords. They connect tweets and make it easy to find related tweets.
I can search for our main keyword phrase, business plans, using a hashtag. But it’s two words, not one. I check hashtags.org to see what formats people are using, and which is the most popular. You can do a search to identify the most popular hashtag version of your keyword or keyword phrase, or use their directory.
The Past Month’s Activity graph of the Hashtags.org search shows that there is not much action on the #businessplans hashtag. Besides, if I want to find individuals who need help with their business plans, they are probably not going to use the term in the plural. So I try #businessplan, with better results.
Here’s another directory of hashtags in use, called Twubs.
You and your colleagues can create your own hashtag by adding # to your own keyword or keyword phrase, like #mykeyword. They don’t need to be listed in any directory, and you don’t need anyone’s permission.
When someone uses a hashtag, they want to connect with others on that topic. Thus hashtags are often used by those promoting products or services, or those trying to find others relating to those keywords. The first group are likely to be competitors, and the second, potential prospects. You can see examples of both in the graphic above. This gives you basic business intelligence and leads.
Twitter Research Part 1: Tap the Power of Twitter Search for Business Intelligence and Prospects
Twitter Research Part 3: Twitter Emotions and Questions for Business Intelligence and Prospects
How To: Use Twitter’s Advanced Search Features Mashable blog