Ok, so last week’s big social media news was thatFacebook launched its new hashtag platform. For those of you that have never used Twitter (where hashtags gained their popularity to begin with), here’s a little breakdown about hashtags and how they work:
Want to know what other people are saying about potatoes? Simply putting the pound symbol “#” before the word will create a hashtag on the word. Once you post it, the entire thing becomes a hyperlink. When someone clicks on it, they’re brought to a list of recipes, potato head fanatics, and Idaho farm pages… anyone who has hashtagged the same thing within a similar time frame. You can view their discussions, photos, etc. and they can view your post just the same
How can this help you?
Think back to the Superbowl, (don’t mean to bring back any nightmares for you 49’ers fans). Popular commercials included a hashtag at the bottom, like #Doritos. The millions of people watching this commercial took to twitter, and shared their thoughts on the funny commercial, and at the end wrote #Doritos. This brought together thousands of people and allowed the company itself to see how successful their commercial was. If you weren’t watching the game and logged onto twitter, you would see your friends talking about it in your feed. With this brilliant marketing scheme, Doritos made the commercial, but the viewers spread it throughout the world.
The “second screen”
When was the last time you sat down on your couch, with no phone, tablet, or laptop, and simply watched television? For most of us, single screen viewing is a thing of the past. It’s all about maximizing efficiency and minimizing time. So as an advertiser, the more “screens” you incorporate, the better the chances are of someone viewing your ad. Most people go to their phones during commercials, and put the phone away while the show is on. So if you could figure out a way to show up on either at the right time, then that would be the ideal marketing scheme.
How does Facebook do it better?
Size is everything. Facebook simply reaches a much larger audience than twitter does— and a pretty different one, too. Users who aren’t so tech savvy and are intimidated by using the @ symbol or don’t know the first thing about a hashtag simply tend to shy away from the twitterverse.
If your audience is techies and young people, then twitter’s your place! However if you want to reach stay at home moms, hip grandmas, or anyone less versed in technology, then Facebook just opened up a world of opportunities for you. With hashtags soon available to almost everyone (Facebook hasn’t granted all its users access just yet), it will be unavoidable for users to come into contact with hashtags.
Either by learning via exposure, or by the tutorials Facebook is sure to come out with, your audience has just multiplied exponentially. So get out there and #explore away.