The power of #HertsHour

The power of #HertsHour (or what’s in a hashtag?)

Some of you will know what the # symbol is doing in front of the term “HertsHour” above. For those that don’t know, the hashtag symbol has been widely used on Twitter since its inception back in 2006 and Facebook is now catching up! Anyway the hashtag is used by Twitter users for commonly used words or phrases as a means of finding tweets on the same subject. You may see many TV programmes now offering viewers a hashtag to use during a show. For example BBC Question Time will use #bbcqt – so if you search on Twitter for #bbcqt after the News on a Thursday night you will find what everyone is saying about the programme, the panellists and audience – some funny and some serious.

That’s a brief introduction to the hashtag, now what about #HertsHour? On Monday evenings between 8pm and 9pm there is a “virtual” networking event in Hertfordshire using Twitter and it is called  … you guessed it … HertsHour. The purpose of HertsHour is to enable businesses across Hertfordshire to network and promote their own business and support others. So if you’re a seasoned user of Twitter, simply search on #HertsHour each and every Monday evening and join in the conversation. If you’ve never used Twitter before, set up an account and just sit back and observe what goes on during #HertsHour – you’ll soon get the hang of it and no doubt will even make your first ever tweet!

One of the fun parts of #HertsHour is called the “shameless plug” where businesses are encouraged to tweet a completely unashamed plug for their own business – the whole point is to promote your business and hopefully be nominated the winner at the end of the hour. The winner is then treated to a whole day’s worth of advertising tweets originated from the founder Steve Davies (@RSArchery) which are then hopefully re-tweeted by other people in the county .. the more re-tweets the greater the number of people will see your “advert” for your business.

Last Monday I decided to tweet a throw-away mildly comical comment on #HertsHour as follows:
“@RSARchery shameless plug time: local accountant specialising in SME and #startups. Adding up and a whole lot more. #tax #accounts #vat”
Well, to my surprise, that tweet won the coveted shameless plug tweet of the evening!

As a direct result of this, my follower count increased and I was able to follow back some other businesses too. But, more importantly, I have received phone calls and contacts from potential new clients – and that is what advertising is all about. This just happens to be free advertising and as with any networking there will be a ripple effect rolling into the future as people talk, tweet or re-tweet over the coming weeks – and that is the Power of #HertsHour.

There are some great people out there on Twitter – it’s not all about what some C-list celeb has had for breakfast, Twitter is a useful business tool.

I was going to carry on for another five minutes, but I’ll stop now and you can use that five minutes to setup your Twitter account if you haven’t already done so. Enjoy.

You can follow me on Twitter: @pauleldred


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