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17 Apr 2014

Using Hashtags to Find/Engage With a New Audience

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All this week, we’ve been discussing the best ways to use social media to improve your brand’s reach (i.e. your indie studio). Some great advice has been given – especially related to Twitter. This week (and in past posts), I’ve discussed the importance of engaging with your followers on Twitter (and other social networks as well). Unfortunately, there are so many other individuals vying for your audience’s attention that it can be hard to make Twitter work for you.

Yet, it can be done. One of the best methods to engage with others on Twitter is via hashtags, which can be used to engage with individuals that are likely to be the most interested in your indie studio. To have an audience on Twitter, you should consider first finding your audience to gain traction and build a following.

So how do you use hashtags to your advantage and engage with the audience that will be the most likely to support your brand and purchase your indie titles? Use the following methods below to use hashtags to your advantage.

 

Find hashtags related to your studio

For this tip, you should follow other indie studios on Twitter. Keep an eye on their Tweets, their re-tweets, etc. and discover which hashtags their followers have been using over the last several days. Are they relevant to your indie studio? If so, engage with these followers and tell them about your games and studio!

While you’re doing this, think about certain hashtags you could use to your advantage. For example, check to see if the hashtag ‘whattoplay,’ or ‘whatmobilegametobuy’ exists. If it does (and it has been recently used by a user), reply to their Tweet and tell them about one of your games!

Be creative in the types of hashtags you search for. You will find a ton of opportunities to engage with individuals on Twitter that will be more likely to follow your brand and become interested in your games. It’s a matter of essentially ‘fishing’ for followers in the right places, and it’s sure to bring many leads your way.

 

Found commonly used, relevant hashtags? Monitor them constantly.

Let’s assume you found the hashtag ‘indiegamestoplay’ is being used by a large audience on a regular basis. For this example, let’s also assume you found a few other hashtags aligned with ‘indiegamestoplay,’ that is being used on a regular basis. Reach out to the individuals using these hashtags every day. While you’re going to be blown off by a few of them (many of them are going to think to themselves, “who is this mystery entity,”), you are going to find that a substantial amount of people are going to be interested in what you have to say.

That is, only if you…

 

Engage with quality

You should be searching for hashtags that related to your brand on a regular basis while dually keeping tabs on commonly used hashtags once again aligned with your brand. When you find individuals using these hashtags, you need to engage with them (as stated previously), but you have to make the engagement count. If someone is wanting to play a new indie game, don’t simply tweet, “try ours,” followed with a link. Instead, make the response count.

How do you do this? Don’t be aggressive! Yes, responding to someone using a hashtag that related to your indie studio is exciting, but engage with them in a casual, helpful way. Again, if someone is using the ‘indiegamestoplay’ hashtag, respond to them and ask them what types of games they enjoy playing, which platforms they use, and so on. Dialogue with them for a bit, responding and helping them out in a proper way.

Appear human! It’s advice that has been given numerous times, but come across as an actual person – not someone trying to get a sale! The person on the other end will appreciate this. If you find they are indeed interested in the same games that your studio offers, send them a link and tell them to check your game(s) out.

Of course, this is only one example. In every instance, you need to be helpful/human in an attempt to win new fans and generate additional sales.

In the end, you need to figure out which hashtags the Twitterverse is using that is aligned with your studio. Once you figure it out, keep going back to the proverbial well and see whom is using these hashtags you found while finding additional hashtags related to your studio. Engage, be polite, be helpful, and be human. Provide more information on your studio and catalog of games to those interested in games that your studio offers, and you will be on your way to growing your audience, building a stronger brand, and generating more sales than ever before.

Do you have any tips for using hashtags to your advantage? Let us know in the comments below!

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