Social Media & Branding

with Crystal Lee

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Learn how to take most advantage of your social media accounts.

Crystal Lee

Social Media Guru, Miss California, Marketing Expert

Lessons Learned

Hashtag rule: The shorter the better.

It’s useful when companies use hashtags at conventions.

Hashtags make desired information reachable.


Lesson: Social Media & Branding with Crystal Lee

Step #3 Twitter: Learn how to take most advantage of your social media accounts

It might look like the symbols are very overwhelming but there are only two that you really need to know. The first one is the "at" sign and the second one is the hashtag or pound. Between those two symbols, the @ refers to someone's account, and so every time you see an @, that is someone who has affiliated himself with that profile and is posting from that profile. The hashtag is a flag, a flag in the sense that if were at a concert and different people were in that concert but they each had similar interests.

Say for instance we're at a Power Rangers Convention, everybody who loves the Red Power Ranger has a red flag in the air, everybody who loves the Green Power Ranger has a green flag in the air. Those flags are kind of like hashtags in the sense that when you raise them up in the stadium other people can look out for those flags and gravitate towards them so that they come close to it and they can talk and they can have conversations related to the Red Power Ranger. They go to the green flag they can go the Green Power Ranger.

Hashtags exist on a similar scale in the sense that a unique hashtag allows for people to find that topic or to join the conversation. Nowadays if you watch Dancing with the Stars or American Idol or Whose Line Is It, you see hashtag word as a way for people to use Twitter to join a pre-existing conversation. So they can join those conversations with people who might be on the other side of the world but are also watching that program. It is truly a revolutionary tool; it brings people together in a way that is unprecedented. Hashtags and the “at” sign are really the two you need to know.

Companies can use hashtags if they're on a marketing campaign that they want to engage the general public in. I think hashtags are particularly useful at conventions. Hashtags are really unique because anybody can make hashtags, I can make hashtag Startups.IOApril3rd and every single person in this room who puts that in if they know about it will probably see tweets or contact related to this particular screening in this particular session. Obviously the hashtags are the shorter the better because it doesn't break into your 140 character limit. So if you've got a really long hashtag, it means it's less room for you to tweet what you want to.

When companies use them at conventions, I find it particularly useful because it means that everybody in that convention can join that conversation. I've seen people retweet tweets that are basically feedback or commentary when there's a keynote speaker. Sometimes I'm interested more in what people have to say than what the keynote speaker has to say because you have access to all of these intelligent people's ruminations and that's particularly of interest to me. So whenever I'm at a convention or at a keynote speech, I'll sometimes politely be on Twitter just to see what people are saying because sometimes they will have insights that I don't and I will retweet that to my followers if I find it particularly relevant or particularly good.

There really is no how should you be using it, it depends on your goal. If you are on Twitter for leisure and you just want to find information, hashtags are a great way because it basically eliminates all the white noise that you're not interested in and isolate the information that you do want. So if I was interested in creating a Twitter account to figure out what people are saying at the Super Bowl, I would put in #SuperBowl14 just to figure out what's happening at the Super Bowl, because if a 14-year-old had just taken a photo of herself at the beach, she wouldn't put hashtag SuperBowl14. By putting in hashtag SuperBowl14, I don't have to see that photo of her at the beach. You really isolate down to exactly the information that you're looking for. Hashtags are a way to basically flag every tweet in a way that joins the conversation and makes it reachable for people who want to find that particular one.

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