Hashtags: The key to social media success

In the grand scheme of things, I am a social media nobody. Think about it. I currently sit at the giant number of 562 followers. To put this in perspective with people in my field of work, Mike Tirico (ESPN broadcaster) has 408k followers, Peter King (Sports Illustrated Writer) has 1.495 million followers, and Buster Olney’s (ESPN MLB Insider) currently stands at 1.04 million.

These guys are all famous because of where they work, but they did not have the help of social media. So what does a nobody like me have to do to engage in the conversation? #Hashtags. My number of followers over the last three weeks has increased over the last three weeks, and there’s solely one reason why: #MarchMadness.

The Duke Blue Devils defeated the Wisconsin Badgers at Lucas Oil Stadium on Monday, April 6 in the NCAA Men's Basketball National Championship game (Photo Credit: ABC News)
The Duke Blue Devils defeated the Wisconsin Badgers at Lucas Oil Stadium on Monday, April 6 in the NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship game (Photo Credit: ABC News)

Anybody who knows me, I am a huge college basketball fan. I would love to become a college basketball writer when I’m older if I got to choose my sport during my sports journalism career. So, the busiest time of my twitter account is most certainly during those 10 days of which the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship is on.

I tweeted my analysis of everything that came to mind and used the #MarchMadness to get it out nationally. This propelled me up in the follower count, and got a couple of notable follows as well (see: Sam Vecenie and Kim Adams, two college basketball writers for CBS and ESPN, respectively).

One other thing that hashtags do, is not only get you noticed, but it engages you in conversation with many other people. As a sports writer with analyzing and tweeting your opinions, it will always either rile people up or get people on your side. This conversation particularly please me that happened during the first round of The Masters (by the way, if somebody can tell me what a pillock is I will be grateful).

One thing about twitter is that if you are known and work at a big company (see: ESPN, NBC Sports, CBS Sports, etc.), your notoriety is going to be given to you by the name of the company. But if you’re a small nobody like me, you’d need to get your name out there and in a national perspective. Hashtags do just that.

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