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When Social Media Giants Collide – #hashtag Ubiquity and How You Can Use Them




14.6.2013

In a move to hold its position as the world's top social network, Facebook is adopting the #hashtag, one of the most recognisable features of its rival Twitter, making it easier for users and advertisers to find hot spots of user activity around specific events or trending topics.

Why have #Hashtags become so important?

In the social media universe, that includes the Tweetosphere, the hashtag is what has helped collate all ideas into one searchable thread, so that you get a more targeted user experience, instead of rummaging through the endless noise of thousands of random tweets, posts and updates – a lifetime’s worth of opinions, mutterings, entertainment and knowledge.
A recent episode of Game of Thrones generated more than 1.5 million mentions on Facebook, and this year's Oscars created an all-time high of 66.5 million posts, comments and likes.

Overall, there were 8.9 million tweets about the Oscars. While 2.1 million tweets were during the red carpet, 6.8 million were during the awards show. According to Twitter, the following events triggered the most conversations (based on tweets per minute):
  • Best Picture award for Argo: 85,300 TPM
  • Adele performs “Skyfall”: 82,300 TPM
  • Best Actress in a Leading Role for Jennifer Lawrence: 71,600 TPM
  • Best Original Song for Adele: 64,000 TPM
  • Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Anne Hathaway: 60,400 TPM
A new survey from ad platform RadiumOne found that 58% of respondents utilise hashtags on a regular basis, and 71% of regular hashtag users do so from their mobile devices.[1]

Though hashtags haven't worked on Facebook until now, it has been adopted by other services, including Flickr, Tumblr, Google+ and even Facebook-owned Instagram.

The new feature is reported to be rolled out this week and like most Facebook introductions will be phased-in; they will continue to roll out more features in the coming weeks and months, including trending hashtags and deeper insights.[2]
The hashtags will conform to users' privacy settings – so putting a hashtag in a post that's only visible to your friends, won't make it show up for anyone other than your friends.

How can brands use #hashtags effectively?

#Efficiency
By adhering to the “language” of other Social Media platforms, sharing #hashtags will make content clickable and searchable; and when combined with the use of all-in-one management dashboards, this will make content management far more streamlined and efficient, helping end-users with more comprehensive search terms.  For example, typing a hash symbol in front of "property" or "recruitment" will turn the words into a link that users can click on to find more posts about property or recruitment.

#Promotions
The RadiumOne survey found that 51% of respondents would share hashtags more often if they knew advertisers awarded discounts for sharing product-based hashtags. These little symbols level the playing field for SMEs as well, since the barrier to launching a campaign is simply your imagination. Hashtags also make it easy to track a promotion’s activity across all your social platforms.

#Targeted Messaging
Hashtags allow you to engage specific audiences who are already discussing relevant keywords and therefore are more likely to be interested in your message. Twitter allows advertisers to target ads on their network by category or interest and it is no doubt Facebook’s plan to add this capability to their advertising options in the future.

#Aggregation
Now that all of the major social networks are sporting hashtags new tools like Tagboard springing up. These allow you to track a hashtag across all the major networks or filter them individually. Promote your new product #launch and engage with customers across all platforms without having to create special landing pages.

#Imagination
Earlier this year American Express announced a new program, Amex Sync[3], that lets their credit cardholders make purchases products and special offers by Tweeting specific hashtags. Now that Facebook has adopted the #hashtag, its billion+ users will no doubt be exposed to more innovative integrations that are only limited by our imaginations.

#StartingConversations
Using hashtags will help users gain a larger view of what others are talking about, but what do you think about Facebook's decision to finally embrace hashtags? Let us know your comments.
 


[1] http://www.radiumone.com/about/press/hashtags-on-mobile-devices.html
[2] http://newsroom.fb.com/News/633/Public-Conversations-on-Facebook
[3] https://sync.americanexpress.com/twitter/Index

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