# Hashtagwhataretheyfor?

I have been watching the new wave of social sharing and marketing called “hash tagging”. Many of the traditional social media outlets support the hashtag function, Twitter, Vine, Instagram and now Facebook.  But what is the purpose? Very simply put it allows people to build a common thread or conversation. You can search a topic like #redsox and see everything recently posted on that topic.  One of the most popular examples, that seemingly has no end result or purpose is #throwbackthursday. This is where people will post a retro picture of yourself and hashtag it with the #tbt. I recently jumped into this to see where does it all ago.  After searching the #throwbackthursday I found tons of retro pictures of thousands of people. I did not find the picture I posted. While its fun, now what?

Recently Wendy’s did a social media marketing campaign encouraging people to post and hashtag about the burger they ordered.  What concerned me most about this was, people usually don’t say nice things in this way.  I was worried for them that there would be hundred of posting about poor food quality or service, things that Wendy’s would not like to have shared.  If you search for Wendy’s you will find several videos on Vine, with hashtags like #unhealthy and #regretitlater. I did find some good ones like #foodporn ( yes that can be a compliment) and #frosty #foodsong. The negative things I saw would not deter me from eating at Wendy’s, they have a positive marketing image in my mind. Plus being on the road quite a bit, you need your fast food fix.

So the morale of the story, by opening up your marketing efforts to hashtagging a business can set the stage for people to promote your business for you, both positively and negatively. In this new era of marketing, when its good,  it takes off on all forms of media.  Just keep an eye out for the bad, unless you subscribe to the theory of “all press is good press”.  

One more thing I have noticed  is the over use of hashtag’s in conversations, verbal and texting.  Hashtagging has become more than a social media pinning system.  To older people like my parents, i’m sure it has the same sounding nonsense as valley girl speak, or text speak..all of which came out of different generations and did not necessarily improve the quality of communication.  Marketing and communication continues to evolve, everyday..#changingeveryday, #wow, #speedoflight, #buckleupitsabumpyride

Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake doing #hashtags

Author: alisonsawhill

Marketing and Advertising Manager, 20+ years of success, working with clients on a local, regional and national level. Experienced in strategy, development and execution of clients marketing plans using all media tools, including Radio, Internet, Social Media, Events and Promotions.

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