Categories

Recent Posts

A Beginner’s Guide to Hashtags

hashtags_news

You have heard the term “hashtag” used in reference to Twitter or Instagram. You may have even heard it used as slang in spoken language, usually said ironically and preceding a cliché, such as “hashtag YOLO” or “hashtag ladies who lunch.” This slang use emphasizes the original intent of the hashtag, which is to link associated content — an easy search tool for social media. For example, if you want to post on social networks about a Tampa Bay Rays baseball game, use #TampaBayRays or #RaysUp and it will appear in searches along with thousands of other Tampa Bay Rays posts.

If we focus on the hashtag as a marketing tool rather than an ironic reference to cultural vapidity or slang, we begin to see its usefulness. It is one of the best ways to place your content in front of the appropriate eyes on social networks, and the more specific you can be, the better chance you have of reaching your target audience. Consider the following simple rules:

  • Hashtags are not case sensitive – so even though phrases should have no space, capitalizing the first letter of words in a phrase allows you to distinguish between the words – #FirstLady
  • Try to incorporate the hashtag into the body of your post – say “#ProfessionalServicesMarketing” rather than “Professional services marketing #ProfessionalServicesMarketing”
  • Think about what your client/customer/user wants to read. What are they searching for? These are your keywords and they will be your hashtags.
  • Once you come up with a list of hashtag phrases, use the social networks to search the phrases and keywords to see what other content is trending – is it relevant to your content? If the content you see is not related to yours, try to come up with a keyword that will put your content in the right place.
  • Look at your competitors’ posts – what hashtags are they using and what content are they posting? You can learn a lot by regularly visiting their social media accounts. Avoid “me too” marketing, but use competitive insights from this research to generate new ideas.
  • Choose your words wisely – you only have 140 characters to get your point across on Twitter and you don’t want Instagram, Facebook or G+ posts to be too lengthy.
  • Avoid hashtag overload. #toomuch #unreadable #annoying #whodoesthis #hashtagsforhashtags #marketing #advertising #pr #socialmedia

Twitter can be an important part of a social media strategy. It is ranked as the second most popular social media platform, next to Facebook, so it is brimming with potential customers. Instagram is among the fastest growing platform and companies are finding success with advertising/promoted posts. The challenge is to reach your prospective clients by using good hashtags and consistent posting.

Pinstripe Marketing has a social media team brimming with ideas for your campaign. We can help generate ideas or take the load off your hands so you can work on your business.

For more information on social media strategy, read some of Pinstripe Marketing’s other social media articles. 

Tampa Bay public relations

Developing the Perfect Pitch

help developing a good elevator pitchWhat does your company do? Why are you better than your competitors? Dazzle me with your answer before I get off this elevator on the fifth floor.
The elevator pitch, so named because it should take you no longer than the average elevator ride to deliver, is your opportunity to captivate your audience. While this sounds fairly simple, it can be complex to sum up your mission passionately and succinctly. That’s why a well-crafted elevator pitch is handy, if not essential.

If you don’t have one, create one. If you do have one, revisit it frequently to keep it evolving with your brand. Some guidelines:

  • Start with the main point you want your audience to remember.
  • Think of your pitch as a conversation starter. You don’t want to say too much or too little.
  • Highlight what makes your company unique.
  • Create messaging tailored to each of your target audiences.
  • Make sure your pitch feels natural – you don’t want to seem insincere.
  • Engage the listener(s) with a question.

 

As you craft your elevator pitch, think of people you’ve met who have evoked excitement in you and others by simply talking about their work. Chances are, they had a well-crafted elevator pitch. Take cues from these people. What was it about their pitch that left an impression? How can you incorporate some of those elements into your own pitch?

Design a pitch that highlights your own strengths and the strengths of your company. Employ a conversational tone so you don’t sound like you are reciting from a set of notecards, and allow for variations – it doesn’t have to be exactly the same every time.

Your engaging question should be relevant to the solution your company provides. If you design websites for professional services, you could ask, “Does your company’s website incorporate a blog and calendar to keep subscribers up-to-date with your events and industry events?” With that one question, you have shown that you understand what they do and suggested that your company could offer a unique solution to that problem.

Test your pitch on coworkers, friends and family, then use their feedback to fine tune your pitch, and keep practicing. The more you practice your elevator pitch, the more confident and natural you will be.

Resources about developing an elevator pitch:

Elevator Pitch: Want to Make a Point? Just be Yourself

Six Tips for Perfecting your Elevator Pitch

 

See more articles on marketing, branding and social media from Pinstripe Marketing

Tampa Bay public relations

 

Nikki Devereux Joins Pinstripe Marketing

Nikki Devereux

We are thrilled to welcome Nikki Devereux to the Pinstripe family! She is one of those “more talent in her pinky finger” kind of people that will make a big impact for her clients. As a project manager, she helps develop competitive marketing strategies and creative communications that get results. We’ll also be taking advantage of her skills as a professional photographer and videographer. New portraits for everybody!

Nikki comes to us with both agency and in-house marketing experience, including her role as an instructional designer for Pinstripe client, Suncoast Hospice Institute, where she designed online education tools for hospice staff throughout the U.S.

Please join us in welcoming Nikki and give her a call if you’re ready to get started!

Tampa Bay public relations