Hashtags: Why and How businesses should use them?

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Hashtags have become a noticeable part of the online world and as of late, more and more social media sites have allowed for the categorizing program known as Hashtags. Hashtags are used to allow users to tag posts, pictures, or even video with a hash symbol (#) followed by a word or phrase, such as #SocialMedia #IT #Cloud #video #infographic etc. Doing this allows the program to categorize anything posted with that Hashtag; this makes it simpler to search for related posts. The implications of this program have not yet been fully realized by the business community. The ability to tag and search using Hashtags can be utilized in all the arenas of the business community.

Why should today’s business community use Hashtags?

A survey from San francisco based ad platform RadiumOne, which polled 500 participants, found:

  • 58 percent of respondents utilize hashtags on a regular basis, and 71 percent of regular hashtag users do so from their mobile devices
  • 43 percent of respondents think hashtags are useful and 34% use them to search/follow categories and brands of personal interest
  • 51 percent of respondents would share hashtags more often if they knew advertisers awarded discounts for sharing product based hashtags
  • 41 percent of respondents use hashtags to communicate personal ideas and feelings

How should today’s business community use the hashtag?

#Promotion
A survey done by Radium one found that 51% of those who responded to the survey said that they would be more willing to share company hashtags if they were awarded discounts or chances at prizes if they were to do so. This is especially powerful for small businesses since launching a campaign needs only good ideas. It is indeed simple effective promotion for small businesses. Not only can you give discounts, and therefore bring in more customers, but this allows you to track promotions activity online.

#Targeting #Customers
Hashtags make it simpler to reach relevant customers. Marketing tools allow brands to advertise based on hashtags. For instance, Twitter lets advertisers target ads by category or interest. Internet surfers who use hashtags are likely to engaging in the social conversation and share their experiences with a brand.

#Conversation
Sometimes it is important to see what the marketplace is saying about a product or brand. According to the RadiumOne survey, 43 percent of respondents think hashtags are useful and 34% use them to search brands of interest.
Hashtags open up the social media world to better converse about your company. A website or a URL post only brings you to the company’s website while a Hashtag allows people to use it in everyday conversations they have on social media. This also allows you to track the conversation and get a better idea of what is being said and how you can utilize that information.

#Combined #Campaigns
Tools like Tagboard now allow you to track a hashtag across all the major social networks. Promote products and engage with customers across all platforms without having to create special campaigns for each. Since the hashtag can be the brand or the product.

#Innovations
Like every new thing, there is immense innovation opportunities are inherited in Hashtags. While hashtags and their use in business have begun to be utilized there are still endless possibilities to what can be done with them. The success of this new bliss is possible because of its simplicity and possible creative ways to use them. They are as easy to produce as campaigns are to incorporate them. For instance American Express recently launched Amex Sync, which lets cardholders make purchases by using hashtags.

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Why is bad feedback a GOOD thing?

ImageWe all fancy a perfect cup of coffee to start our day. Expectations are high, especially when someone else is making it for us. So I was fair to get angry when my partner didn’t brew it perfect for me. Time for him to light a LAMP.

We can always improve. We’re normal people “The Mango People” and have absolutely no problems admitting we’re not perfect. While we always aim things to go right 100% of the time for every single customer, we do slip sometimes. Despite every effort and will, we do go wrong sometimes in the realistic world. What is most important in realistic world is learning from mistakes, correcting them and moving forward.
When you receive negative feedback from a customer, use the L.A.M.P. approach (This is just my personal term, it came up with my morning coffee)
Listen
Let’s give the customer our ears. What does this customer have to say? Why are they saying it? What happened during their experience to take it down a bad road.

Acknowledge and Apologize
We acknowledge that a bad situation happened and apologize for it. We own up to the mistake.

Make it Better
What can we do to turn this situation around? We give our time, free service and whatever else it takes to fix the problem. If we cannot fix it, we escalate issues to someone who can.

Push Improvement
After the dust clears from the bad experience and the customer has rode off happily into the twilight, we’re left with one question, “how can we make sure this doesn’t happen again?” We’ll improve our methods by learning from what went wrong.