Sometimes, people use hashtags in a joking and superfluous manner- but they are intended to be used as a tool. Whereas Instagram and Tumblr use hashtags for identification purposes, Twitter and Facebook utilize hashtags to start conversation. With social media functioning as a two-way communications platform, a variety of industries have found hashtags as a valuable way to engage with consumers and generate discussion among fans. Whether creating a hashtag to engage fans or further corporate social responsibility campaigns, these brands have found a way to use hashtags strategically.
While it’s more common to hashtag the name of a show, some series get more creative. TV shows like Pretty Little Liars, with their audience an active percentage of Twitter users, update their official hashtags as the show airs. This way, fans can guess what’s going to happen next or respond to plots twists live with people around the country. Shows with hosts, like The Voice, are expected to tweet during the program to legitimize and promote hashtags. The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon asks fans to submit funny stories with a themed hashtag, such as collecting hilarious advice from dads with #Dadvice.
When Apple launched new products in Cupertino, California- people could live stream the event on Apple devices. With #ApplieLive, feedback and opinions circled with the introduction of the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, Apple Watch and U2 performance.
The sports industry capitalizes on hashtags to discuss matchups like #WASvsPHI. Some stadiums or courts will showcase hashtags to encourage fans to share their gameday experiences with followers. Additionally, fans will nominate video clips to be featured on SportsCenter with the hashtag #SCtop10.
The Always commercial asked people what “like a girl” means. The touching video, reflecting on stereotypes and empowering women, went viral with 47.7 million views. At the end of the commercial there was a call to action: Tweet the amazing things you do #likeagirl. The hashtag served as a way for people to share inspiring stories to redefine the saying.
What other industries utilize hashtags as a conversation tool? Is there a particular TV show, company, sports team, or brand that you think serves as a great hashtag how-to?