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How to Discover, Monitor and Utilize Local Hashtags

Hashtags have been an increasingly popular and effective way to reach out to new communities and talk back to your customers. It can be a powerful way to build your brand and create the community around your topic.

It’s still underused though.

Nowadays that all three major social media sites have introduced hashtag support, think about infinite cross-platform promotion and networking opportunities you can discover by utilizing local hashtags!

How could you benefit from incorporating local hashtags into your marketing strategy?

  • Obviously, if you own a local business, you can connect to local customers on their territory;
  • If you are promoting an event, you can market it more effectively by using local events
  • You can get some coverage from local media and blogosphere, etc

Here are some ways to market with local hashtags:

1. Discover and Monitor Local and Hyperlocal Hashtags

Of course your first step in utilizing local hashtags would be discovering what to monitor.

Start with the core tags:

The best technique to start with is to create the list of core local hashtags which are pretty much obvious and go from there. So, for example:

  • City hashtag, e.g. #Dallas
  • State hashtag, e.g. #Texas

Add them to Hootsuite, Cyfe or Tweetdeck and then just start following for a while. In many cases, people would use these main hashtags in combination with more specific hashtag relating to some local news- and event-specific tag they are using.

Using Cyfe to track local hashtags

Using Cyfe to track local hashtags

Speaking of the above social media dashboards, you can actually use all of them (no need to choose one), but here’s a quick feature comparison:

Hootsuite Cyfe Tweetdeck

Runs on…

Web-based Web-based Windows, Mac

Dashboard is organized…

In sections and columns In “widgets” In columns

Best feature:

Has archives and analytics Widgets can be resized and dragged to make sure you have a one-glance view Has desktop notifications (easy to follow while working, reading, etc): Best way to catch news and react instantly

Search for “Related” hashtags:

KeyHole is a cool tool that shows you “related” hashtags for the core one you provide (just search it and scroll down the page):

KeyHole

Google for local event, areas and communities

Another idea is to spend a few hours researching events, local areas: Most of those already have official hashtags!

  • Run a search for local popular school, football teams, clubs and communities, radio
  • Run a search for local meetups and (charity) events, etc
  • Run a quick search for local parks, sights, etc

Follow local broadcasters

You can easily create a separate Twitter list (and follow them using the above social media dashboards) to figure which local-oriented hashtags they are using. Twiangulate is the great tool for that – its only downside is that you can’t really add those newly found connections to Twitter lists (so I still have to click to their actual Twitter profiles):

local broadcasters

Searching for #Dallas users on Twiangulate

2. Using local hashtags

After a couple of weeks you’ll have a solid list of local hashtags you are tracking (Mind that creating that list is not going to be easy). Now you can start using them:

  • Don’t overdo: People don’t like hashtag-stuffed updates (as those Tweets stop being personal)
  • Target precisely: If you tweet an event, tag it: This means you automatically expend your reach to those who are participating in / going to the actual event
  • Identify local bloggers and reach out to them (invite them to be your local journalists covering events they are going to: This means you’ll have tons of useful locally oriented content on your site!)

Idea: Consider starting your own local hashtag Tweetchat to bring your community together around your brand. Meet with your local contacts to talk about local events and news weekly or monthly. There’s a great free tool for that called TwChat. Its best feature is that it separates “mentors / hosts'” tweets from the whole stream, so followers can easier follow the conversation. It also saves the archive of tweets and it’s very fast as well:

Local tweet chat

See how it highlights questions: Isn’t it cool?

Are you utilizing local hashtags yet? Please share your thoughts!

Aimee Sway

Aimee Sway is the social media strategist specializing in local marketing and blogging for VIP Realty, the locally based business in Dallas. Aimee has been community management and blogging for living for more than 4 years now.

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