Make a Hash(tag) of Your Tweets

HashtagKeith Kmett, a user-experience enthusiast whom I met through the social-media magic of Google+, responded to my last post (What Brand RU) with this comment: “I would add that social media can also help your personal brand.” Keith’s note prompted me to add a new section to that post. Below is the new section in standalone form—with all-new images.

A hashtag—a # symbol plus a text string, like #ThisIsAHashtag—is a powerful symbol for getting your words seen. Even if you’ve never sent a tweet (a brief message on Twitter) in your life and think you never will, you ought to know what hashtags can do. If you tweet without hashtags, you limit your visibility. Add a hashtag to any tweet, and you instantly reach many more people.

Continue reading

What Brand R U?

Updated May 25

If you write for a living—if you make a penny from your writing, or hope to—you have a brand.  Maybe you have a logo, maybe you don’t. Either way, you can’t help but have a brand: a “name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature [my italics] that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.”[1]

You have a brand because no one else writes the way you do … Continue reading

What’s your brand?

Was it a confusing icon? Was it a term used on different screens to mean different things? Was it a layout that could have been more logical? I don’t remember what I was pointing out to the product manager in charge of this device-in-development, but his reply seared itself onto my psyche. He might as well have said “Customers be damned.”

brand ironWhat he said (did he shrug?) was this: “People will get used to it.”

Maybe he thought the fix would have cost too much or would have delayed delivery. Business decisions involve trade-offs. I get that. What burned — a company’s brand is called a brand for a reason — was the unmistakable couldn’t-care-less attitude toward the user experience.

Some writers have a similar attitude toward their readers. The attitude sounds like “They’ll know what I mean” or “They’ll figure it out.”

True. They will. They’ll also figure out that the writer figured they would.