Hashtag prevalence in advertising

michelle obamas bringbackourgirls pic turned into an anti-drone campaign

I remember the first time I saw a URL listed in the end credits of a tv programme. Even though it was nothing to do with me it was a good day as it meant my X years in web development hadn’t been wasted and finally websites had hit mainstream.

Fast forward and it’s now accepted that TV shows, generally, would have some kind of online presence. That not only includes a website, and advertised URL, but also a Twitter ID, with substantial Twitter campaign, Facebook presence.

One thing that ties all these portals together is something that has pushed itself to the front of every campaign, be it for political, marketing or educational purposes, the hashtag has become synonymous with ‘getting the message across in a social world’.

A Hashwhat?
A hashtag is a word or an unspaced phrase prefixed with the number sign – # . It is a form of metadata tag. Words in messages on microblogging and social networking services such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Instagram may be tagged by putting # before them, either as they appear in a sentence, (e.g., “New artists announced for #SXSW2014MusicFestival”) or appended to it.
Hashtags make it possible to group such messages, since one can search for the hashtag and get the set of messages that contain it. A hashtag is only connected to a specific medium and can therefore not be linked and connected to pictures or messages from different platforms.
(source Wikipedia)

Hashtag the (wrong) crap out of it!
Got a new product or service coming out? Hashtag it! Looking to viralise your political speeches? Hashtag it! Organising the local school fete? Hashtag it!

The problem with just hashtagging the crap out if everything means it’s very quickly overused and over abused and with any form of abuse it comes with misunderstanding and misinterpretations.

Seeing ‘The First Lady’ recently holding up a sign with #BringBackOurGirls screams cringe and opens up the opportunity to go #MemeCrazy.

A perfect example of jumping on the bandwagon and inadvertently killing off a very serious subject.

Similarly when used in real life as part of your general conversations, talking on the phone for example, really does nothing but annoy and confuse the hell out of everyone.

Hashtag the (right) crap out of it!
Used correctly hashtags can make an effective marketing/ tracking tool and can be beneficial towards the product or service that you’re aiming to convey.

Using the same hashtag across many mediums ties your campaign together nicely:
– Google for the hashtag post event to see the impact
– Use the hashtag as part of your competition – “Tweet including #OurHashtag for a chance to win …”
– Use popular keywords (try Google Keyword Planner) but keep it relevant
– Never simply use a previously popular hashtag
– Use sites like Hashtags.org to check if your chosen hashtag has already been used
– Keep them to a minimum #don’t #use #them #on #every #damn #word

#Hashtag it up
And of course, if you’re looking to use hashtags in your upcoming marketing activities, be it an exhibition, festival or product launch (for example) consider running one of our bespoke Twitter walls as part of your project strategy – get in touch with us today.

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