A hashtag is used to “tag” or group messages on twitter. (www.tagdef.com)

My good friends at the Manhattan Cafe recently began tweeting.

Yesterday, I noticed a tweet from them in my feed about an upcoming event, so I called them with an idea to help expand their reach.

In this, I recommended to them that at the end of their event tweets, to use a citywide hashtag for events. When using this tag, often times, key area influencers who both follow and engage in the Twitter discussion around the specific tag will take notice and in turn, retweet to all of their followers.

In this, you potentially can increase your reach well beyond your current follower base. However, it is important to not just broadcast your message and forget about it.

Once you launch, you should then listen and respond, if applicable.

Let’s see if adding the hashtag even made a difference…

* The cafe, by the numbers

* Initial tweet for upcoming events to their 147 followers

* Follow up tweet to their followers. This time, with the #pdxevents tagged

* Look at this, within 40 minutes of the tweet with the #pdxevents tagged, this Twitter feed with 2,634 followers re-tweeted it.

Of course, this doesn’t happen 100% of the time. But, I will tell you from experience, if you cultivate your Twitter friendships and are reciprocal with engaged dialogue, you can begin to see this happen more and more often.

Case in point. An hour later…

* Another tweet from someone else and their 966 followers!

* What started with reaching 147 cafe followers, has now turned into reaching 3,747 people via 3 tweets!!!

Great ROI for including a strategic hashtag. But, how do we improve the ROI outside of the hashtag?

1. Begin engaging with your followers and the community at large more consistently and you may just begin seeing your regular followers RTing these tweets to their followers.

2. Don’t allow your feed to become stagnant as this equals unfollow.

3. Don’t just be a broadcaster. Remember, social media is a dialogue, not a monologue.

Consistent engagement builds loyalty and loyalty creates personal capital.

The engagement to loyalty stage is found within 80% of your messages and responses being of relational nature. If you do this right, you will have built up the personal capital/credibility to essentially offer the 20% of your messages that are of informational nature.

As I said before, don’t flip the 80/20 or you will become unfollowed.

Questions:

A. Who are you connected with in your city?

B. Do you know what the strategic hashtags are in your city to use to drive awareness to your events?

C. Do you use hashtags?

D. How much time do you spend enagagingĀ  your Twitter community?

Great job to Manhattan Cafe! You are well on your way!

Oh, and don’t forget to…

p.s. Gotta love the exposure the artist is getting, too.

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