Hashtag: Help or Hindrance in Twitter Marketing?

Hashtag: Help or Hindrance in Twitter Marketing?


Twitter has become a marketing tool for many small and medium-sized businesses, and it is driving customer behavior in measurable ways.  The company recently released a report on why direct response ads – ads that are intended to drive a specific result – using Twitter did not perform well.  The report concluded that too much “noise” in the ad can be a distraction to readers.  Just as in traditional advertising, if there are too many things going on in the ad, the viewer doesn’t know what you want him or her to do.  Provide a call to action that can’t be missed.  Don’t clutter the copy with symbols or links.

For example, in the Twitter study, using a hashtag in the ad was one of the things that kept viewers from acting on the message.  Also, too many clickable links in the ad can reduce the likelihood that the reader will click on the link you want.

The Twitter study showed that tweets that don’t include a # or @ mention are estimated to generate 23 percent more clicks when driving people to your website.  Those ads that target people with an offer to install an app generated 11 percent more clicks without a # or @.  Twitter says these results don’t mean you should eliminate hashtags altogether.  They are useful when joining a conversation.  But remember the five “best practices” offered by Twitter when using its platform for marketing:

  • Keep it short
  • Give clicks context
  • Make it visual
  • Optimize for leads
  • Start a conversation

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