Use hashtags (duh)

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hashtag duhOK, I feel really stupid about this. It’s not like I don’t know about hashtags, and haven’t used them on Twitter for years. (They’ve more recently been added to Facebook, the MeToo Network, but it’s

ial-media/why-do-we-hate-facebook-hashtags/”>not clear that they’re very popular or effective there.)

In general my feeling was that they were best used for events so the people at the event, and those who couldn’t make it, could see what people felt were the most important comments by speakers. There are also a few top level generic hashtags that might be useful. And then there are the “comment” and humorous hashtags like #fail, #justsayin and #firstworldproblems.

So why haven’t I been using them while tweeting out my new blog posts?

I started regular blogging almost a year ago. But my blog has had low readership – just several people a day. It was a nice thing to point people that I’m talking to for more insight on my thinking, but clearly it wasn’t bringing my thinking to the attention of many new people. (I jokingly thought of it as The Least Read Blog in the World.)

And then last week I started using hashtags such as #sales and #marketing when tweeting about particular posts. And this is what happened:

rising trendline of visitors to site

The number of people reading my blog increased almost 10X.

Now, the numbers are still not huge, but I’ll take that free increase of readership anytime.

The interesting question is whether this is the fallacy of small numbers in two ways: (1) my only sample is my own blog, and (2) if I was already getting, say, 1,000 visitors/day without hashtags, how much would it have increased by adding hashtags to my tweets? At the very least I imagine it would add dozens of incremental visitors a day, which can help build a following.

What’s been your experience? Are you using hashtags to promote your blog and posts? Sometimes execution is more important than originality.

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