How to develop a hashtag strategy

how to develop a hashtag strategy

Have you ever thought about adding a hashtag strategy to your digital marketing plan?

A hashtag strategy is where you’re mapping down the hashtags you’re going to use for your content on social media. You have to ask yourself if you’re going to use hashtags for measurement or community building (or maybe a bit of both).

So how do you develop a hashtag strategy?

There are several different layers to it. The first is to figure out what hashtags are the most used on a global level based on which social media is being used. Here you can see the most used hashtags on Instagram and Twitter (in my opinion the two places where hashtags are used best for brand building and community building).

After you’ve printed these hashtags in your mind, it’s time to get closer, especially if your content is localised, and you’re not communicating in English on Instagram or Twitter. Try to have a look around on both Instagram and Twitter and see if there are any hashtags that are localised that people use? Localised can also be within a certain theme or subject. I have done a bunch of work for a record label lately (community building and digital strategic consulting). For a record label, some of the best hashtags aren’t #love #instagood or #tbt. Those hashtags known to be the biggest, but they should rather use hashtags such as #nowplaying and #listeningto that people use to find new music suggestions. So even though you know what hashtags are the biggest, they might not be  relevant for you and your brand.

You can also develop your own hashtags. It’s a great way for people to hook up with each other if they are at the same event, or if they are interested in certain topics. Even if n you want to create movements and get people to post images or tweets about certain discussions or on certain days. Hashtags are a fun way to engage, and a great method to build digital communities and have people connect offline at events as well.

When you’re done researching hashtags, and have created your own – you can always keep track of the impact they have on a service such as hashtracking.

All in all hashtags are a community builders game out there, but it’s such a creative thrill to work with them.

rock on

 

 

 

 

 

 

Identity is key to rock anything digitally

 

Sometimes I wonder why many businesses seem to use social media, but fail to make it convert into something tangible, something on the bottomline, something that sticks to their identity, image and branding. Come to think of it, most of the people they connect to out there seem to be more disturbed than excited about what you have to say.

I wonder about  this because I have been approached by a lot of baffled companies requesting me to look into their social strategies and find out why the intended results do not match actual sales. What I found out is astounding  – ALL these companies, which recognize the importance of planning in every other aspect of their business and implement them accordingly, don’t have anything remotely resembling a social marketing/branding action plan. They may have a strategy, but they don’t have a plan for what happens from week to week and what they need to work on the long term haul.

Woot ?

Digging deeper into why these companies can commit such a basic mistake, I found out that all of them just dived right into social media with hardly any thought about how these tools will work right for them on a daily basis. I think the mistake is that they got the strategy, but they forgot or simply didn’t know how to launch it – from a-z.

And the primary reason why this sad situation has to play itself out?  Accessibility. It’s so easy to create accounts on various social networks, and start posting content right away, AND it costs you practically nothing – that these companies are lulled into a state of casual approach. They stop seeing social media as something strategic, as an opportunity to surprise their surroundings and saw it as just another communication channel where they don’t have to put enough resources to take it seriously. What makes social media work really well for me can be a curse for someone using these tools improperly.

Social media is a bane for those who tend to think in literal numbers – that having a thousand likers and followers is an end in itself; that business will just naturally take care of itself once you have attained a significant increase in traffic to your site.

This idea was smokin’ ten years ago, or even five years ago. But today, what would you say if I declare that I can outperform your 2,000 likers and followers with a mere 200 or even 100 of my fully connected audience? An audience that are really interested in the value that I provide, and trust me completely enough to go for their wallets, once in a while, to buy my services?

The key to using social media properly is to rock your identity to the right audience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, you know what? (download pitch coming up) I have a method for that. It’s called the “value loop for social media” – it’s described in my ebook “Rock Your Identity” – you can download your free copy here.

The social network on steroids – my first thoughts on Google +

One of the things about the internet that I truely love, is the fact that what one day is super hot and where people hang, is not necessarily the same scenario the day after. People they are like nomads and trying out more and more services and abandoning old ones. Ah the smell of the change in the morning…

So while I have been on a vacation, google launched google + and I think it’s a hands-down fantastic service.

When I started to digg in deeper I decided to structure some of my circles:

– some around languages and other different kind of contacts. Seriously just that it overcomes the language barrier that I have in relation to my network (some I speak english too – others I want to speak danish too, others french or swedish) is a gift for me as an english communicator but a native dane.

-some around interest – business, inspiration, art, music, crafting, creativity, social media, internet tendencies,

– some around relationships: business contacts, friends, family, people I don’t know well, but I’ve met.

The thing is that it gives me a way of directing my content more, it makes me show different sides of my personality and best of all: I think it will make me give more value, love and rockn’roll to the individual person.

So how do I see people use it these days ? I see a lot of people posting interesting stuff, some are starting to push their own offers out there – and even more so in google + than in facebook, it makes me want to block them out. When the social network gets tighter, more conversational and more threaded, I think the broadcasting that you need to do there as an entrepreneur – needs to be more carefully selected. I broadcast my stuff/content/blogposts/e-books too – but I try to measure it up by being an active part of the community as well. So is this the more strategic – more fragmented- less “inside the box” social media of the near future ? I would say “most likely“.

So what are people saying about it ?

A lot of people are saying that it looks a bit like a combination of Twitter and Facebook. But I think it looks like one of the biggest all time tech/web loves of mine (disclaimer: and former client) : Jaiku. Google + is what I could easily picture Jaiku to be a couple of years down the line. (they where purchased by google in 2007).

Im not going to compare them more, they just have a lot of resemblance for which I am overjoyed, Because some of the more conversational touch (and threaded conversations with everybody) of the web ( instead of statements) have been missing. I think twitter is filled with statements, facebook is very narcissistic, and if almighty google play their cards right, I think we could actually see some of the “social” I have missed mostly about the social web: the openness and the old idea of internetforums but in real time. I am have been using facebook extensively for the last 5 years – but I think that google + is going to a new place for me to hang – in a more open and a less restricted way.

The idea that you can connect with everybody in a comment or in a thread and where everything becomes more directed to the community than to the actual person, because it’s more open (I mean Twitter is a mess at this – follow conversations anyone ?)

I truely hope it will make the online conversations less complicated..

I am also looking forward to see more of it all – and see what the response is going to be from the rest of the online social networks =)

let the game begin.

Should all startups move to Silicon Valley ?

So during the last couple of months the amount of times I’ve heard “we need to be based in the valley” from startups has increased – a lot.

Yesterday I found a blogpost about the “european ecosystem” for startups – I think the article has a lot of great points, but I want to add my own more-action filled 2 cents.

Should all startups move to Silicon Valley ? I don’t want to move there and here’s why: I want to be at my own personal silicon mousehole called Elsinore, Denmark. Because it’s cool here and it’s where my kid goes to school. See, we are possibly 3 companies up here working with the internet. It’s not even Copenhagen. I don’t see a decentralized tech scene as something bad, I see it as something remarkably “glocal” and an opportunity to tell a different story than yet-another-startup-out-of-the-valley. I think what we need to aim at, is the “clusters” in the different cities, making sure that companies within the same field works together to ensure further growth.

We have a technical ecosystem that makes sure that we can work on projects from anywhere in the world with video and cms/crm/project management systems located somewhere on the internet. And basically being based in the same city makes me not prioritize meeting people here, because I could meet them at any time. I think there’s a huge psychological thing attached to geographical locations that isn’t taken into consideration when talking about “the whole tech scene needs to be in the valley” and the “competitive advantages of valley startups”.

So how do I make sure that people in the  tech scene knows about this little blonde tornado (aka. me)?

I often do tours of Europe to be present at the gatherings that are made in and for the european tech scene, it’s important to me because I get a grasp of what’s happening amongst the firstmovers of the internet,  it makes me connect to people, that are easier to connect with here than if they where in the valley. Oh and sometimes I even meet people at a different conference again – and they remember me.

Think about it. If you want to pitch/sell/get to know some hot shot person (maybe the coolest person in the world) it’s probably better to meet him when he’s out of his context, when he’s in Paris or London or Copenhagen for a week and don’t really have anything else to do there than to speak at conferences and attend meetings. If he’s in the valley he’s within his own context and wouldn’t prioritize meeting you as much as he would if he was in Europe and had time on his hands.

So I definitely see that you need to be present physically in the tech scene, you need to meet people where they are (physically as well as on the internet). But I would rather stay put in my small town and fly out to meet the tech scene physically every second month (europe, asia, US ) instead of being present all the time, backing it up with skype calls and tweets and facebook likes and what have you. Get a proactive and strategic approach to the tech community would create so much more for you as a startup than to be present in the valley at all times.

Live from my personal silicon mousehole

Do you use personas when you strategize ?

If not… you should!

When you do business development you tend to create a lot of strategies based on your target group(s). When you strategize around the web you should make the core of your marketing strategy the product. I always make them the perspective of the strategy because it’s a fun way of working, basically it starts out really close to make-believe, but then you keep getting adding more characteristics to the personas, and most of the time they end up being pretty accurate, if you use your logical sense and combine it with a couple of casestudies. I see personas as a narrow generalization and a semi-market-segmentation that is really important for the virality of your message.  Also, It will also make you be closer to the users, if you tailor and align the message with the specific group of people you’re want to love your message or product or whatever…

So, in Toothless Tiger after an analysis (and after reading the book “the user is always right“, we found out that we needed to target people with the same driving force as ourselves, it makes a lot of sense to me, because I can literally take my own drive and opinions and use them for developing the internal strategies for Toothless Tiger, which is awesome.

So – start using personas when you strategize, it will make you’re work more creative and practical. I love to be able to say “if I was a part of this and this targetgroup I would do like this and this and I would feel this and this way about that and that”…

 

Why to use the social web strategically – no matter who you are

Last week I was on danish TV talking about two current cases in Denmark. The first was where a minister says some pretty bad things about a professor from Copenhagen Business School. The second one is a battle between an author and a critic that ended in dire threats. I was there to answer some questions on why it seems, that people can forget that:

1. The internet remembers everything

2. It is real people sitting “on the other end”

3. Your “closed” personal profile is visible to the outside world, through the people you connect with

Monthly we have cases in Denmark where people seem to forget one of the above mentioned three things, and they get caught by surprise that what they write on the internet is being highlighted in mainstream media, especially if they are politicians or celebs.

I would encourage anyone out there, who’s using the social web and social media, to start using it strategically.

Because your past defines you – especially when it’s as well documented as the internet.

This means not saying anything out there that you wouldn’t say to the general public. Not doing anything that wouldn’t be delivered on the frontpage of your own media empire. Because that is really our trail: a small media empire pr. person.

You shouldn’t write anything out there that doesn’t contribute to how you want to be perceived. This means, that you need to streamline your activities on social media so that they are purposeful to what you want to achieve. This goes all the way down to having a personal facebook profile with 100 friends. Because the whole world is listening.

So if you where confronted with everything you had ever written on facebook, how would that make you feel? Does it show who you really are? Would it get you that job that you applied for? Would it make your family feel proud of you? Would it add up to your “brand”?

My point is, that you could be facing up to your past social media activities in the near future. That is why I think you should use it strategically, no matter who you are. Because your past data defines you – and it’s documented online forever and ever.

How to rock social media for strategic sales

In October I wrote a piece for my blog on amino.dk – that was wildly popular. So I decided to translate it into english and post it here as well – enjoy =)

I have made an ally with an advisor in my business Toothless Tiger
(she’s cool, she rocks and she’s called Mercedes), and I have found out that it might have been her that was the business backbone of Toothless Tiger instead of me. That’s just not an option, because I had to be a large part of the business backbone myself.
She has however, been a lot of value. Kicked my sweet behind and inspired thoughts about my business, and that’s just super cool.

She had me define my sales funnel, something I haven’t been using a lot since I left business school. I know it’s really important, but it’s just not something I have prioritized a lot. 
Now a sales funnel is an interesting tool – especially for me if you do a funnel based on social web – which is my god given metier. When I look at a sales funnel as a model, I see it as a model that’s both really good at defining where you are in your sales process, but ALSO a tool that’s really important if you want to get people closer to your company (warning: social media rant alert =))

(This sales funnel I have borrowed from http://www.getentrepreneurial.com)

Well, what should we use the sales funnel for on social media then? We should use it to get “top of mind” when people need a person in your EXACT field.

Let’s walk through it and start “above the red field” on the model. That’s where you’ll find twitter. Twitter is a promised land to make new contacts (and eventually get new leads). You just need to make it strategically targeted (a good way to start out is to find 5, 10 or 20 people that you really need in your future network, and after that you put aside 1 minute a day to talk to each one of them), no sales-pitchy bullshit; just genuine human conversation.

Between the red and the yellow field is facebook. Facebook is for people who are interested in you, and you want to hear from as a continous part of your network. I see facebook as a bit closer to you than twitter, because people also get access to other information about you (pics, more info), to me, facebook is more about a universe for your current social network, where twitter links to a more “formal” part of you – your webpage or someplace else where there’s a part of you that you want to sell =)

Where it get’s really interesting business wise, is at the beginning of the yellow area: where the newsletter and the blog lies. The newsletter and email are generally fantastic ways to convert social media into something closer to a sale.

So how do you get people from twitter and facebook over on your newsletter or your blog?

1. You ask them 1 after 1 in a context where the initiative is on them. If there’s someone on twitter asking a question about something and you know something about it, then it’s really ok for you to write the answer to them, and then afterwards write “I write a lot about that in my newsletter, would you like to receive it?”. It’s a pretty resource-demanding thing to start out on.

2. Create flagship content (as Chris Garrett would put it). An eBook, a guide, a how to. Something that isn’t available for everyone unless they “pay” for it, either with cash or with an email signup or something. If you want to receive Chris’ eBook about flagship content, you have to sign up to his rss feed on his blog, and in the bottom of the blogposts in the feed you’ll receive a secret link so you can download it. In Denmark I would change the RSS feed subscription with a newsletter subscription, because even though RSS is on it’s way up here, then there’s a lot of people that don’t know what it is – yet.

You get people to download the eBook by writing out about it a couple of times a day in different settings, where you will either generate more content about it (blogpost, video or something else) or take the quotes or comments about it. It shouldn’t look like a sales pitch, because basically people hate to be told what to do (also in a social media context). What you can do is to become active with other things than your own stuff and messages on facebook and twitter. I would say that you need to be 5 times as active in other places/in other conversations as you post things yourself.

Ok, we need to get to the green part of the sales funnel, and we do that through the newsletter (by writing great valuable newsletters, together with good offers – we do that on a weekly basis). When people have recieved the newsletter over time, it would be ok to add them on facebook or twitter or throw them an email and get people into a CRM system where the contact is closer.

Keep constant contact (in most CRM systems they can tell you who you haven’t talked to in a while). You can also add some keywords to contacts in a CRM system. Then, once in a while you go through it all and add tags to those who are potential clients and those who are close to becoming clients (now we are in the beginning of the blue area of the salesfunnel).

At that point the relation is nurtured to the point of knowing what color people like to wear, and they invite you for family birthdays (just kidding).

No honestly, it doesn’t need to be that close, but you could easily write them and ask if they would consider buying your stuff, and they can always answer no. And ta-da! – people from the internet converted into potential clients.

Lovers, haters, likers, ignorers and the social media value chain

I got back from Roskilde Festival sunday night. Monday was for catching up on stuff and today I feel like creative writing. It’s fantastic, because it’s one of the things I love the most, the total flow of needing to get things down on “paper” and shared away for inspiration.

These days I feel like im in some sort of vacuum waiting to burst out. It was the same when I released “return on involvement” in Danish last year. And with the english book “return on involvement” coming out + my new e-book (working title “social media value chain”, which I still need to find out if I can publish calling it a value chain without getting myself in trouble). Update: the e-book has ended up being called “rock your identity” and it consists of my social media value chain, described in details.

Another things that’s on my mind is the process of moving. We are (still) selling our gorgeous apartment and we’re moving back to my childhood home in Elsinore (about 50 km around from where we live now). Talking to the bank and facing the “when will your apartment be sold” question or “how many has been out to see it” makes me tired.

But – I turn to writing and researching for clients and myself. Now, one of the things that popped up in my curly head today, was a fun trick that I think will help you gather acknowledgement and fame (and make you into the rockstar that I KNOW you want to be).

One of the most important and interesting parts of my business is to figure out what people are saying about you. Both the lovers and the haters, the likers and ignorers (the people who ignore you for some apparent reason) and the rest who hasn’t had the chance to meet you yet. There’s a couple of things that always gets me going and makes me put myself on the spot all the time.

These things are the facts that:

– I believe that about 10% of all people in the world will be straight out negative about you. If you expect that, then the path to being your fullest self and daring to be different isn’t that hard. You will experience that some people thinks that what you’re most passionate about is the most stupid waste of time. Accept that these people are around and get going. Don’t focus on them. on the contrary I choose to believe a lot of people thinks that what I do kicks a**. I need to believe that – you do too.

– It takes quite a long time to get people to find out what you actually do – don’t worry they will come around if it’s for them.

– “They” will screw you over. it’s likely to happen so why not expect it?

– I will come out of every situation stronger.

– That you need to think about these things in a positive way, otherwise you wont publish your next piece of brilliant content, or the next – maybe it’s not exactly accurate, but it get’s your self-esteem up and makes you dare to be yourself. You’re on a special mission and nothing is going to stop you. You’re doing something that no one else has done before – because it has that magic touch of you on it.

But a way to direct this and to strategize around people, is to get aware of what it is that you want people to say about you. Put it down on paper.

So here’s the questions I asked myself (and my own answers below):
Why do you want the lovers to love your work ?

Because they think it rocks. Because it gives them value and that kind of “Henriette” insight and creativity that they didn’t know they where looking for. Because it’s made to inspire. Because it will make them more money and have their business running better… (and that’s also why I believe that Toothless Tiger (aka. my business) has been in business for 5 years, and is still going better than strong=)

Why should/would people hate you ?

If you think I’m an obnoxious woman, who likes to voice my opinion and whom you can’t stand. Don’t like me. Not even on facebook. Don’t retweet. Don’t sign up for my newsletter. It’s ok. Question my authority. Tell your friends to hate me too. I’m fine without you. No worries. You will be fine without me as well.

Why do they like what you’re doing ?

Because they are inspired by me and my work. They think I am a creative individual who gives them value.

Why do they choose to ignore you ?

One of the things I continuously say in my head is that they deliberately ignore me because they are afraid of me – sometimes I even say it’s because they are jealous. I need to believe that  it’s because I am better, faster, smarter, sexier and more insightful than them

What do you want the in-betweeners to say after the first time the read/hear/see you ?

That I gave them insights they haven’t thought about. That my ideas where genuine. That they would love to work with me at some point.

This is a giving exercise to do. It helps you position yourself. Now look at the answers to your questions and figure out: how will you make it happen ?

How trains can compete with planes =)

ifiwhereinthexxindustry

This is basically a shout out to some of the traincompanies around the world. Yesterday I went by train from Hamburg to Stockholm, via Copenhagen and Malmø. It was an 8 hour trainride, but I decided to go for it, mainly because of the environmental issues, but also because I needed to work a bit.

1. hamburg – copenhagen, polish my presentation for disruptivemedia – no wifi not even in Denmark with my crappy 3g modem from telmore ( sorry guys it’s just not functional on trains – where I use it mostly)and structure the free ebook I am writing on Social Marketing a bit more

2. Copenhagen Malmø – no coverage by my 3g modem – grrr

3. Malmø – sthml – long trip – but they had free wifi on 1st class. You could buy wifi from 2nd class.

I got to do 5 hours of work on the train  – it was awesome – concentrated and I got to see Sweden as in “being in Sweden” not “flying over Sweden” – it was so enjoyable.

I love trains, and if you can create a workplace on the train, I think you guys have a winning strategy – especially if you have free GREAT wifi… You can take on the plane industry on shorter and longer distances – especially if you work on the train and track infrastructure internationally – so go do it =)

oh and trainpeople – give me a call I will explain more..

ps – did you notise that I have now made a newsletter about business unusual ? sign up if you can’t get enough of me =)