By: Eric Quanstrom, CMO, Nimble
With the recent implementation of hashtag searches on Facebook, social relationship tools like Nimble are becoming an incredibly useful marketing and lead-prospecting tool.
The History of the Hashtag
The pound (#) symbol began with one guy on Twitter in 2007, looking for a better way to create Twitter Tag Channels. Since then, the hashtag has grown precipitously and is now ubiquitous—according to recent studies 58 percent of respondents utilize hashtags on a regular basis. Facebook and it’s more than 1,110,000,000 active users promise even greater usage and utility towards finding people using hashtags.
The primary goal of using hashtags is to help content (and its author) be discovered. Within Facebook, hashtags turn topics and phrases into clickable links in posts on your personal timeline or page. As more people realize that Facebook hashtags enable the same kinds of content discovery on Twitter, the ability to find, monitor and interact with hashtags will grow. For their part, Facebook is looking to enable more of this behavior:
“Hashtags are just the first step to help people more easily discover what others are saying about a specific topic and participate in public conversations. We’ll continue to roll out more features in the coming weeks and months, including trending hashtags and deeper insights, that help people discover more of the world’s conversations.”
Folks using tools like Nimble will find a wealth of useful features, geared specifically towards the search function.
For example, after plugging in a hashtag search on the Signals tab within Nimble, Twitter, Facebook, and Facebook Fan Pages are crawled for matching criteria. For greater efficiency, searches can also be saved.
Let the fun begin. Your hashtag-led searches spawn an unlimited amount of contacts, that are essentially business leads. Individuals put content out to the world with the express intent of being found. Hashtags make that discovery immediate, efficient and even clickable.
Bring these contacts into Nimble (through the “Import Contact” feature) and the rest of their profile is populated automatically.
Future correspondence with this contact will be archived here, enabling you to decide the best ways (and times) to interact. This process works the same way for companies posting hashtag messages to Facebook.
As contacts are pulled into Nimble, they can also be set on follow-up tracks. I like to use “Add Task” here, as I can set due dates and even assign the task to other teammates. Any action is automatically archived in Nimble so there is a complete history of interactions.
Wait, There’s More
Anytime a contact reaches out to you, Nimble will surface the interaction in the Signals tab. This means you need not worry about missing the contacts you interact with, because Nimble will let you know, easily making a habit out of the process of nurturing an interaction.
Put Hashtags to Work for You
By regularly engaging with hashtags on Facebook – even just a couple of minutes per day – and following up in the ways illustrated above, you should find your number of leads multiply.