Have you ever felt like nobody’s reading your tweets? If you’re using it properly, Twitter is a great way to grow your brand and engage with homeowners; but Twitter is tough for contractors. So, what’s the secret to all of those Favorites, Retweets and Replies you see from other people’s tweets?
Contractor leads are hard to come by, especially on a lightning-fast platform like Twitter. Hashtags organize conversations and make your brand visible in a near-infinite sea of tweets. A well-crafted, carefully-targeted tweet with the right hashtags can actually bring in qualified leads. Even for contractors.
We’ve embedded a helpful infographic about hashtags from The Huffington Post at the end of this post, but it’s important to understand why hashtags are important for contractors specifically.
Why Use Hashtags?
Before you start adding hashtags to your tweets, it’s important to understand why hashtags are valuable and why not all hashtags are created equal.
Hashtags are often obnoxious. You see people hashtagging every word in their tweets, creating nonsensical hashtags as inside jokes, and even saying phrases like “Hashtag Sunday Brunch,” aloud in front of actual people.
But hashtags aren’t all bad.
According to Hubspot:
When used properly, though, hashtags can be a powerful marketing tool in helping drive brand recognition, boost conversions, and positively impact customer loyalty.
Hashtags group tweets together to form conversations. They link Twitter users, who might otherwise be total strangers, with other users interested in the same topic. These interested Twitter users are updated in real time. A good hashtag brings order from chaos.
This search on Topsy shows you how many people tweeted about ‘construction’ in the last three hours. A few more than you thought, right? Hashtags help organize those conversations. They help connect real people with relevant conversations.
As the infographic says:
A fitting hashtag can help drive brand recognition, boost the reach of an advertising campaign and positively impact customer loyalty.
Using Hashtags for Contractor Leads
So, how can you join the conversation and score some qualified leads? First things first: you need to find appropriate hashtags and use them correctly.
A 16 year old who tweets about video games won’t be interested in your roofing business, but an HR manager researching home improvement might be just the person you’re looking for. You don’t know her, but if she’s either used a #HomeImprovement hashtag in her tweet or is actively looking through tweets featuring #HomeImprovement, there’s an opportunity for conversation.
Some quick tips to remember:
- Don’t overuse hashtags, as they can overwhelm your audience, dilute your message, and cheapen your brand
- Twitter officially recommends two hashtags per tweet
- Obvious hashtags work best– people won’t join a conversation if they don’t know what you’re talking about
- Hashtags should be catchy and memorable
You can grow your brand, help people and find leads if you find the correct hashtag. #HomeImprovement might be too broad for the leads you’re actively targeting, but let’s use it as an example.
If you perform this search on Twitter and poke around a bit, you’re likely to find someone in your area with a question. Finding the right person takes time and research, but if you answer that question politely and without being pushy, that person will remember you. Be helpful, not intrusive.
Twitter is a great place to show you’re an expert contractor and engage in conversations with people who are in the research process.
If you’re trying to find the perfect conversational hashtag, Hashtags.org has a great search tool. Try a few keywords and pick one that’s tweeted frequently so you’re not tweeting to an empty room.
You can also create your own branded hashtag. If you’re a roofer, you might choose #RoofingDoneRight. As of right now, it’s been tweeted before by a few different accounts but hasn’t been used in high volumes.
You can be more specific, too. If you’re a roofer in Montana, you might choose #RoofingMT because there are no tweets associated with it, yet. Choosing a unique (or low volume) hashtag for your business puts all of your wisdom in a single, easy-to-find place. Once it catches on, users can search through the archives to do research and keep an eye out for your content in their feeds.
Hashtags allow Twitter users, your potential leads, to find what interests them and cut through the clutter. They organize conversations, power the research process for consumers in the buying process and strengthen online brands.
It takes hard work for contractors to find leads on social media, but with the right information, proper research, and a couple of good hashtags, it’s totally doable. You’re used to hard work anyway, right?
To your inbound marketing success!