In today’s world and age, you cannot begin to fathom the power that a singular hashtag holds. One hashtag has the power to morph into a movement and start a wave of change.
Just in case you’ve been living in a bubble and never heard about the popular television series, Lucifer, here is a quick run down to put you in the picture.
Lucifer is an American television series that premiered on Fox on January 25, 2016. The story begins by Lucifer Morningstar starting to feel bored with his eternity spent in hell and fascinates himself with the world of us mere mortals. He then spends his days walking on Earth by consulting with the LAPD on several cases. Not your average fallen angel as you can see, but we’re just going to leave it at just that. Nobody loves a spoiler.
Unfortunately, despite its popularity, the show saw its fall from grace and was canceled by Fox after three seasons! When this happened, the heavens opened and the golden chariots of marketing descended from the heavens!
Lucifer cast members and fans were spreading the word like wildfire about the official hashtag #SaveLucifer
In just a span of few days the hashtag was the most trending on Twitter. Tim Ellis, who plays Lucifer, and showrunner Joe Henderson, urged Lucifer fans to “make noise” to save the show from the fiery depths of hell. The result? Lucifer got picked up by Netflix and is to air its fourth season in 2019!
From this campaign to #SaveLucifer, we can see the importance and strength of influencer marketing and the hashtag. If used efficiently, they are a force to be reckoned with.
BUT WHY SHOULD WE USE HASHTAGS?
A hashtag is a label for content and is used to categorize posts efficiently. When using hashtags, tweets and other content are made easier to be discovered. Therefore the use of proper and accurate hashtagging is encouraged.
If you post an image on Instagram and write #travelphotography and you posted a selfie image that wouldn’t be the wisest of choices #facepalm. This can have a negative impact on your engagement.
Hashtags are mostly used in unmoderated, ad hoc discussion forums; any combination of characters led by a hash symbol is a hashtag, and any hashtag, if promoted by enough individuals, can “trend” and attract more individual users resulting into a discussion.
From data published by Sprout Social, users tend to engage with posts on Twitter and Facebook with 1 or 2 hashtags and not more. However, when moving onto Instagram posts “the more hashtags you use, the more engagement you see” (Don’t forget the maximum number of 30 hashtags). It’s considered bad etiquette to add a hashtag to an unrelated message just to get attention. People may end up reporting you for being a spammer, or respond testily.
Chris Messina, a social technology expert, is credited to have come up with the very first hashtag on Twitter. He first posted the hashtag #barcamp in August 2007.
Apart from using hashtags as an effective medium to attract engagement to a post or image, it is a great tool for activists to share their message across the globe. However, hashtags are also an effective means nowadays of receiving messages and absorbing feedback.
HOW DO HASHTAGS WORK?
Whenever you publish a post and add a hashtag to it, the post is indexed by the social network and becomes searchable by other users. Then once a user clicks on the hashtag, one can discover all related posts that people wrote from around the globe. On Twitter there is even the possibility to see the hashtags that are trending and how many users tweeted the hashtag in a certain location or worldwide. Unfortunate being a small country like Malta, it is not discoverable #ShameOnYouTwitter
So do yourself a favour, when publishing an image on Instagram, sharing a post on Facebook or tweeting on Twitter make sure to use a trending hashtag for your post to get the engagement it deserves. But first of all, do your research about the hashtag that you are using as you might end up in the wrong category – unless you want to fall from social media grace that is.