Posts Tagged ‘Hashtags’

The Real Function of Hashtags

October 31, 2016

robin-rectenwald

How many of us trendy marketers have used hashtags to promote our brand or used hashtags just to use funny or popular phrases such as #sorrynotsorry, #nofilter, or #yolo?

In reality, how many of these hashtags did you actually follow or look up after using them? If you’re like me, then probably never. If you’re like me, you probably used the hashtag to be trendy and funny, like Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the real purpose for hashtags. Hashtags are meant to categorize messages so people interested in that topic can follow it. After attending my first major communications conference this weekend, I now realize the real function of hashtags and how powerful they can be.

I had a very lucky opportunity to go to the 2016 Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) International Conference held in Indianapolis. Like any other event I’ve been to, there were signs posted everywhere and reminders in the program to use the hashtag #PRSAICON. Normally my gut reaction of seeing these hashtags at events are, “Ya, okay, maybe.” To me, I always thought that this was just a branding technique for the company to raise awareness about them. I never thought of it as a genuine call to action that could benefit me.

However, after hearing from some of the most brilliant speakers and communications professionals, I decided to join the Twitter trend at the conference. I wanted my friends and family to know that I was sitting in the audience listing to stories from Derrick Kayongo, Founder and CEO of the Center for Civil and Human rights, Captain Scott Kelly, Astronaut and United States Navy Test Pilot, Theresa Payton, former White House Chief Information Officer, and many more. Why not join the fun and use the hashtag?

Not only was I able to gain new followers and increase the number of likes and retweets for my own posts, but I was able to connect with people at the conference that I never got the chance to meet in person. With hundreds of attendees from all over the world, six keynote speakers, 81 breakout sessions and variety of other networking and professional development workshops over a short span of two and a half days, it was impossible to hear and see everything I wanted. Thanks to the event hashtag, #PRSAICON, I was able to follow along with the other tweets that shared photos, PowerPoint presentation slides, memorable quotes and entertaining GIFS. This hashtag made me feel like I got a piece of all of the sessions and I was able to participate in live conversations.

For this reason, I encourage marketers to think about how you can use emerging media to genuinely create opportunities that will benefit your audience, not just your brand. For those of you that have ran successful engagement campaigns, please feel free to share some some tips with us!


Robin Rectenwald is a marketing & communications professional based in Pittsburgh, PA. She is currently a student at West Virginia University in the Integrated Marketing Communications graduate program. Check out her blog, Trendy Marketers, for more of her posts.

The Best of #TheDress

March 3, 2015

At this point, who doesn’t have an opinion on #TheDress?

dress

The question of February 26, 2015: What color is the dress?

I’m guessing I wasn’t the only IMC student whose favorite part of the dress debacle involved seeing how brands capitalized on its viral hashtags. You can view some of the best brand tweets here, but I’ve also included some favorites from my Twitter feed below:

ouat

Fans of the ABC modern fairytale show loved seeing character references of Snow White and Mr. Gold (Rumplestiltskin) connected to #TheDress.

cirque

Cirque du Soleil wasn’t afraid to offer their unique opinion of #TheDress color…

ikea

…and IKEA agreed. Is anyone else on team #blueandyellow?

What are your favorite brand references to #TheDress?

-R

 

Social Media, iOS5, and All Things Apple!

October 26, 2011

Main image on Apple.com

Recently, the world lost an incredible man who changed the way we live our daily lives. Whether it be the computer we use at work or at home, the phone we use to communicate and connect with people, or the movies we go to see on our days off, Steve Jobs has had something to do with all of it. I was sitting at a restaurant having dinner when I received a few text messages on my iPhone about Steve Jobs passing away. In an instant, there were tons of articles, pictures, and tributes to the American genius. Most people did not even realize how much he had to do with all of these technological advancements that we now enjoy today. He had a huge impact on the tech world and will always be known for the amazing products that he made possible for us. Thank you Steve for all of my Apple products that I love and making all of our lives enriched with great, innovative technology!

Some of the new features from iOS5

Not only was the Twitter world exploding with tweets about Steve Jobs and his unfortunate death, but the iOS5 update for the iPhone was the thing to talk about. I added #iOS5 to my saved searches on Tuesday, Oct. 11 because I wanted to see when the update was released. I eagerly awaited the Oct. 12 launch of the software. There were rumors that it would be released at midnight but that was not the case. As I refreshed my tweets with the hashtag iOS5, everyone was let down that it was not there on as soon as it turned October 12th. Each minute, there were thousands of tweets about the iOS5 and there was so much anticipation about the 200+ new features that came along with it. This update is the most extensive update out of all of the operative systems that have been released since the launch of Apple’s iPhone.

There were a few problems that Apple ran into, as did I, during the launch of the iOS5. When it finally arrived, there were so many people who were trying to upgrade at the same time that there were errors all over the world. Over half of the people who were trying to upgrade could not do it because of this error. Of course, I was one of the individuals who had this internal communications error and was very frustrated with this whole situation. After calling AppleCare and them telling me that I will probably have to get a new phone, I looked to my social media outlets to get some more information. On my Facebook news feed, I saw that a ton of people were having the same problem. It relieved my worry that there was nothing wrong with my specific iPhone and that it was just an overwhelming amount of people trying to get the software at the same time. I found this article that explained the whole communication problem.

Although the experience was rather complicated and frustrating, considering I had been waiting at midnight for the software to launch and it didn’t release till 1pm, it was well worth the wait. One of the best features that this update includes is the integration of Twitter with the phone. This shows the worldwide importance of social media and how it is integrated into our lives every day. If you have not see all the iPhone features, here is a video of the new iOS5 software and what it has to offer its users.

Until next time, happy tweeting, texting, and talking!

Ains

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