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Identifying the right hashtags is critical for social selling success. Hashtags allow you to eavesdrop on conversations, join already existing conversations, and start new conversations.

Just think of the benefits. By monitoring conversations, you can learn about your industry and prospects, and by adding value to conversations, you can start to build relationships that could end in a business transaction.

But how do you find the right hashtags? To help you out, we compiled a list of our favorite tips. Hopefully, you'll find a few that work for you.

1. Ask The Marketing Department

If you have no clue where to start, check with the marketing department. Those folks are social media experts, and they probably have a list of industry-appropriate hashtags that they use.

If you've heard rumors that marketers bite or are intimidated by them, check your company's Twitter handle. Chances are that your company uses hashtags from time to time. That could be a good starting point for you.

2. Use TrendsMap for Local Hashtags

Imagine that you're a insurance broker-dealer, and much of your clientele is located in a specific geographic location. For the sake of example, let's pick Chicago. To build rapport with your customers, you'll want to know what's happening in your local area, and participate in those conversations online.

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TrendsMap can help you find hashtags that are popular in a specific geographic area. Right now, the Cubs are playing in the World Series, so it's no surprise that Chicagoland is abuzz. To be a real insider, you wouldn't use the #cubs hashtag. Instead, use #gocubsgo.

3. Google to Find Industry Lists

By Googling, you can find many lists of hashtags that are industry- and job-specific. For example, here are a few hashtags that CMOs, CIOs, and CFOs used in 2015:

If you need popular hashtags in healthcare, here's a list. Or if you work in the financial services industry, there are plenty of lists of hashtags – just waiting for you if you do five minutes of research.

4. Use Twitter Search to See How People Use Hashtags 

Let's say that you're in the coal mining industry. You're probably thinking, #mining seems like a good hashtag to use. Use the search bar on the Twitter site to find out:

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For the most part, it is, but as you scroll through the list of tweets, you'll find that not all #mining tweets have to do with the extraction of metals and minerals from the ground. Instead, some people are using the hashtag to discuss data mining, as well.

So, how do you find other hashtags that are related to #mining? That takes us to the next tool.

5. Use Hashtagify.me to Find Related Hashtags

Hashtagify makes it easy to find hashtags that are related to those you want to target. You can use your newfound hashtags to increase your reach and to uncover more conversations to monitor. But be careful; not every hashtag will be pertinent to your interests. (See number four!) For example, Bitcoin has little relation to coal mining.

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But #FinServ and #Finance are certainly related.

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In Closing

Hashtags are an extremely important part of social selling on Twitter. They can help you find new prospects and be found by prospects. That's why it's important to make sure you're using all the right tools to find and monitor hashtags.

Above, we covered some of the free tools that you can use. By no means is the list exhaustive. (We didn't even mention #tagdef, which defines Twitter tags for you!) But, by using the tools above, you'll be well on your way to hashtag mastery.

In our next post, we'll discuss when and how to use hashtags on Twitter. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, check out our cheat sheet for social selling, which dives deeper into ways you can use Twitter for sales.

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Posted by Mark Bajus

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