Using Social Media to your advantage! #hashtag

Good Sunday Evening! 

This blog post is going to focus on something I do on a daily basis. Something I have done for the past 5 years when it comes to social media. Almost all of us use social media, we usually share posts for family and friends to see, but what about marketing ourselves, or product to the rest of the Internet world for the sake of our own business or even specialty? I love using Facebook, but for me that’s more personal, its more about the things I enjoy doing. I also link my Instagram page to my Facebook account for quick photo uploads. How many of us are using Twitter? How many of us have a business or specialty that we want to market to reach people outside of our own network? What are hashtags? How are they used? Why should I even be on Twitter? Many people have asked that question for several years now. I started using Twitter in 2011 as a way to promote my music. I was using hashtags like #hiphop #brandnew2011 #music ect.. to reach others outside of Northwest Arkansas and outside of my Facebook circle. I did this so that others could click on the hashtag and discover what other people were sharing on that specific topic. Hashtags and Twitter have allowed me to network with many artists, promoters, producers and even fans of the genre. I have also been apart of using Twitter to specifically promote mixtapes and singles through many Twitter accounts and Facebook pages.

 I have been able to use SEO (Search Engine Optimization) on Google by using those hashtags to my advantage to gain traffic to links about me. You can Google (James Virgil Boggs) and find many links to my music, photo’s, personal pages ect. In 2008 I became certified in HTML and HTML 2 so I was familiar with SEO, but that was from a design standpoint. I’m not writing code any more, so for someone without any expertise in web design, you now have an advantage to gain more followers and traffic to your blog or business page. Promoting yourself has never been easier and should be taken advantage of. Create your business or personal page on Facebook. Sign up for a Twitter account. Create your blog page, even start uploading videos to YouTube and start taking advantage of those hashtags that are specific to your niche. Tag those videos and create a well written description about what you are uploading. You will be surprised at where your video will end up on YouTube once you upload it, even just by using a specific title. I recently uploaded a new instrumental I produced titled “Catch em all”, I did not use hashtags or write a description for the purpose of seeing where it would end up. Just using the title, it appeared with many Dubstep songs that included the Pokemon theme. It was neat to see where the video landed, but for your specific post, I would advise hash tagging and writing a description. It will pay off in the end.

The goal is to draw traffic to you. Are you wanting to network more? Then search those hashtags on all social media accounts you use. Find people that are talking about what you are talking about. Reach out to them. The biggest asset you can bring to yourself is to reach out specifically to those who share the same ideas as you do. You never know how that far that relationship can develop. I will give a quick example of what I am talking about so you can envision a real world scenario.

About a month ago, I was on Twitter searching through two sets of hashtags. One was “Christian” the other was “Writing”. I wanted to find someone who was a “Christian Writer”. I wanted to connect with them, because I was feeling the need to start writing to share my faith and testimony. I knew God had a plan for me and I could not stop searching until I found the avenue to make that happen. After several hours of searching, I came across a Twitter user @jaser75, who was wanting to reach out to Christian men, to guest blog on his website. The lightbulb went off! I knew I needed to reach out. After talking back and forth, Jase and I decided to work with each other. I shared his testimony about his faith and his father on my blog. He decided to come up with an interview for me, because he read my blog and wanted more in depth information on Potter’s Syndrome and mine and Sydney’s faith through it all. We both worked with each other and got all of the information out to the world within a weeks time. 2 days later, my interview hit over 500 views, over 120 social media shares and many conversations since. Jase specifically took advantage of hashtags. He tagged his blog and other social media accounts. I did the same. We reached many with our stories. He lives in Alabama and I am in Arkansas, yet our stories were shared with people all across the world. All thanks to Internet marketing techniques that we both had learned over the years. I learned my skills in music promotion, especially my blog NationWide Artist Promotions, and Jase through being an Author who has to market himself to get his writing out there.

Another thing that happened during this time was me searching Twitter again for “Christian”,“HipHop”, “Writer” and coming across JesusWired.com. They were searching for writers to contribute to their website. I reached out by telling them that I had filled out the application. They reached back out to me and discovered that I had created a podcast based on a blog post I had written. They loved it and I sent them more of my work. We created a relationship and decided I would be a Contributor and Columnist for them. Just this week it was publicly announced. That’s just the beginning, but my point is to use those hashtags, reach out and see what happens. If we want to reach others, we have to be willing to reach out ourselves, but also take advantage of the technology at our fingertips. Don’t be afraid to research. Spend time on Google, YouTube, Blog sites, wherever you find information for your specific topic or specialty and get your name out there. We are a blessed people. We have so much information and have access to that at any given time. Social Media is more than just funny memes or videos. You can build your business and gain credibility among so many people who share what you share. We are all passionate about something. Let’s expand our circle and help each others. “Teamwork makes the dream work”.

Until next time,

Virgil Boggs
Answers in Genesis Bookstore

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