Are hashtags the ultimate curation tool for B2B content marketing?
Curation should form a healthy part of any B2B content marketing strategy. Creating your own unique, high-quality content is crucial too, of course, but there’s no harm in also spreading the word on other similar content. It shows your suppliers that you know exactly what’s going on in your industry and that you, as a brand, aren’t just focused on your own activities.
However for B2B content marketers just starting out with curation, it can seem difficult to know where to begin. Here’s an inside tip – you can find 85% of the content you need for curation via a simple, often underrated tool: the humble hashtag.
Hashtags are used to denote expressions, feelings or well-known phrases associated with a Twitter update. You can hop on the back of a commonly-used hashtag – for instance in my industry, many posts include ‘#contentmarketing’. If you aren’t familiar with your industry’s established hashtags, sites like hashtags.org or hashtagify.me allow you to search the Twittersphere for appropriate terms. Conversely, you’re free to make up your own hashtag! This sounds scary, but it can help your brand get on the map – particularly if it takes off.
How can I use them for curation?
Once you’ve narrowed down the most-used hashtags for your industry, download an application like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck. These sit on your desktop and display pretty much whatever information you want them to. You can then set up custom search columns, which will provide you with a wealth of relevant, interesting blogs and news articles to broadcast to your audience. For example, a recruitment company could set up two search columns – one for ‘#recruitment’ and one for ‘#jobs’.
The beauty of using these applications to conduct your hashtag searches is that you don’t have to sit on Twitter all day, trawling through pages and pages of search results. Setting up these columns means you have all that lovely content sitting right in front of you, updated in real time. However as with any media platform, not all content associated with these hashtags will be worth reading or re-tweeting, but over time you’ll start recognising straight away which articles/blogs you should pay attention to.
Are hashtags the be all and end all?
No, but they’re pretty darn useful. There are other tools you can use, such as Google Reader, RSS feeds of your favourite industry publications and that old-fashioned favourite – actually looking through the news. However using a simple hashtag search gives you access to millions of blogs and articles from around the world, without having to trawl through hundreds of websites. There aren't many other tools that can promise that and for B2B marketers, the time and effort saved by utilising hashtags will be most welcome.