Finding and engaging with your target audience is a key component for any social strategy.
Tweeting without hashtags means that the only people who will see your tweet are your own followers and the followers of anyone who retweets it. Think of hashtags as micro-communities. Tweetchats of course are the best example of this. But there are other hashtags out there that are very active and generate quite lively conversation. The right hashtag can unlock a goldmine of social listening and engagement.
Finding these micro-communities can be like looking for a needle in the proverbial haystack. If you’re up against a deadline it can be simpler to settle for generic ones such as #mobile, #social, #geek, and so on. I had a project a few weeks ago where I wanted to find a community in Africa talking about issues of health, development and tech in Africa. I decided to put together a Spider project and see what came up.
I used these keywords:
- “digital health”
- “healthcare technology”
- “health 2.0”
When I checked on the project’s progress after an hour a tweet from @MobiCureInt marketing itself as the first African company to develop an mobile health app caught my attention. So I looked for additional tweets from them to get more information:
I knew that #omomi was their product hashtag but #ict4D was one I hadn’t encountered. The combination of latter and numbers made me assume that it was probably a conference. But when I searched it on Twitter I found tweets going back several months. Turns out it stands for “Information and Communication technologies for development”. I plugged it into Spider and voila- there was my community. Just take a look at this keyword analysis:
This is the type of micro-community that is incredibly useful but also very difficult to find. The hashtag is really for those “in the know”. While there are other listening tools out there I have yet to find one that allows me to do this degree of deep analysis with just a few keystrokes. As a social strategist always working against a deadline that alone makes it worth its weight in gold.
By Suzie McCarthy @