Once a night when we were in deep discussions about SMBR’s “Battle of the brands” my friend fabin asked me: Why is this useless hashtag-trend used in facebook so often? And although it was long before Facebook added this specific twitter functionality to its own system, he was kind of right: A trend was born to hashtag each single word of a comment, regardless to its further usage or sense.
Of course one can argument that the early adopters of the hashtag trend in facebook were using scheduler-tools (like hootsuite, buffer and others) that combined facebook and twitter messages – but let’s stick to this later in this SMBR Social Media Governance contribution. At least the second adopters in this trend have been driven by this trend and used it inflationary. This became so popular, that it even entered the world of comedy which the video of Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake show us:
Advantages for markters?
In order to understand the advantages of the hashtag functionality for marketers, we need to take a look at the origin usage of it: twitter. Like no other social network, twitter shows an overcrowded information flow in its general stream. The reason for this can be seen in three certain facts:
- the limited amount of text and
- the amount of user,
- as well as the combination of both influencing the user behaviour to tweet more often than others.
To improve the convenience for the user, the hashtag functionality was added and accelerated the search of content immediately. In 2013 facebook adapted this functionality and made it applicable for web and app usage of its services. Ok, information transparency as an advantage makes sense. But doesn’t this benefit also provide the search functionality of each social media network?
Here is a SMBR summary of common ground why this is more than just searching functionality:
#-functionality creates value because…
- …it offers you the entire information labled with the certain “#” by members of your tribe in a chronological order.
- …you can create your own stream to a certain topic in monitoring tools like hootsuite, e.g. and reduce the social buzz in your general streams/feeds.
- …you get to know your peer group better: comparing the amount of your posts and the ones of other marketers who are using the same hashtag, provides you the opportunity to benchmark your content and publishing frequency against them.
- …you reach your customer more exclusive: user that are aware of the functionality are gathering your information dominant to others as these might be filtered out by the hashtag.
- …you can use multiple apps and web services to create one single newsfeed in social media networks: you already can combine e.g. instagramms, foursquare check-ins and facebook status on your pin board. But, with the hashtag you may include also other storytellers to contribute and start a multi-sourced information feed.
Do you see other advantages in your personal way of working with social media? Let SMBR know. Futrther SMBR wants to know how your usage behaviour of the hashtag functionality looks like – vote in the following SMBR poll for it:
Concluding this post’s message, one could say: use the hashtag, but use it wisely!
Otherwise your brand reputation and the content of your campaign may soon be affected negativley which results in a huge risk to your social media work.
- Forbes on the hashtag phenomenon: http://ow.ly/qCmCd
- Hashtag Horror: When Hashtags Get Out Of Control (business2community.com)
- The Role of #Hashtags in Social Media and Search (searchenginewatch.com)
- Is the Internet #HashtagHappy? (buprssa.com)
- All About Hashtags (helloelly20.wordpress.com)
- Pulling apart the hashtag (socialconceptsconsulting.wordpress.com)