by John Eberhard

If you can develop a large number of followers on Twitter, then sending out regular messages, called “tweets,” can be effective in marketing a product or service. This is especially true if you have taken care to develop followers that are or tend to be the correct public that could actually buy your product or service. We do not recommend buying a large block of followers for instance.

We do Twitter marketing for a number of clients, where we have been successful in building up their followers to numbers in the thousands (five accounts with over 4,000 followers, the highest nearly 17,000). Twitter has tried to block this activity in the last year but we have continued to be successful in doing this.

Most of the tweets that we send out for our clients also include a link to that client’s content, either on a web site, on a blog, or on YouTube. We measure our success in this area by how much traffic to the client web site was generated from Twitter. So we are shooting for causing an action by the person reading the tweet, clicking the link and coming to see the client content.

Hashtags are a phenomenon that has happened on Twitter over the last two years or so. It is a word or several words together with a pound sign (#) at the beginning (like for my business, #onlinemarketing, or #websitemarketing, or #searchengineoptimization, or #videomarketing). The words define a topic. These can be general ongoing topics of conversation, or sometimes they can be timely topics related to current events (like #benghazi, or #worldcup). You include a hashtag in your tweet, to basically define what you are talking about.

Normally, without a hashtag, you send out a tweet and people who are your followers will be able to see it. Also, people on Twitter who are not your followers can see that tweet if they search for any words or phrases that are in the tweet.

But with a hashtag in your tweet, you can potentially, significantly increase the number of people who could see your tweet. Because hashtags have become sort of a popular thing on Twitter and if you select a popular hashtag, then people will be searching for tweets with that hashtag and will see yours.

How do you find a popular hashtag? Unfortunately I have not been able to find any services that tell you how many posts each hashtag gets. But you can go on Twitter and search for a hashtag and see how many results come up, which will give you an idea of how popular a hashtag is.

We send out automated tweets for clients every day, usually between 10 and 20 per day. We recently started including Twitter hashtags in all auto tweets, and one client experienced a 110% increase over the month before in people coming to their site from Twitter. So hashtags are an important technique to use on Twitter.

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