hashtag marketing

Video: How the Seattle Mariners Use Tagboard to Bring Social Media to Their Game Day Presentation

A few months ago we profiled the Seattle Mariners, showcasing their game day social media implementation, powered by Tagboard (read). We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Kevin Martinez, Director of Marketing for the Seattle Mariners, to discuss how the implementation of Tagboard has changed the way they connect with their fans during games.

“For us it is all about accessibility to the fans and being transparent. Our main objective is to make sure that every fan is heard and that we are engaging in that conversation with them,” said Martinez. “We really pride ourselves on being responsive to our fans… Without Tagboard we would not be able to have such a high presence of social media in our game presentation… We have seen the amount of posts spike 10-fold.”

Curated posts by fans — both at the game and from outside the venue — appear on a screen that is over 200-feet wide and just under 60-feet tall; wider than an Olympic-size swimming pool is long, and taller than a five-story building. Just imagine the feeling fans have when they see their Tweet or Instagram post come across the fifth-largest screen in the world, and third largest in a North American sports venue (#priceless).

“It is an interactive experience that we have never seen here at Safeco Field before and we think we are just scratching the surface. It is hands down something every sports team needs.” said Martinez.

We are thrilled to partner with the Mariners to help achieve their goal of getting closer to their fans on game day, and excited to share this video as a case study of Tagboard’s capabilities.

How Sports Brands Use Social Media To Create VIP Reward Programs: In today’s information friendly world, everyone is a sportscaster, sideline photographer, analyst, and coach. Fans today have the ability to share their praise, critiques and favorite plays in the same environment as an ESPN or Sportscenter host. And, the communities that form around these public opinions are possible because of a simple idea thought of […] http://j.mp/1haGddY

Tools for Hashtag Monitoring

Tools for Hashtag Monitoring

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Many social media users and newbie marketers don’t really know the real use of hash tags.. so here’s a quickie “A hashtag is a label for content that enables other people to find content under a certain topic quickly. The hashtags are mostly used on social media sites; Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest. Anyone that is sharing content can add a hashtag label to the message so…

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When Should Your NonProfit Join the Hashtag Conversation?: Social networks are powerful media with massive potential audiences, so when a hashtag starts trending, it’s natural to start pondering how you might be able to join the conversation, using it as a vehicle to reach the crowd of people following it with a message to help further your mission.  However, before you push post, […] http://j.mp/1PXMgNt

Lessons From #HashtagAdvocate Ellie Goulding

We always get excited to see mainstream artists and celebrities “get” social media — particularly the hashtag. Examples range from utilizing social streams in authentic and geniune ways, to embracing fan-generated content. The latter is obviously more risky, but when it pays off, it can be magical.

Such is the case with Ellie Goulding’s latest video for “Burn”, released last Sunday as a fan appreciation video — a compilation of fan-submitted Vines.

For us, it’s pure social media magic — powered by the hashtag. Some key takeaways:

  • The hashtag #ellieburnvideo was introduced and promoted as the way to submit UGC videos via Vine. Takeway: hashtags are a powerful and flexible submission or opt-in tool
  • The original campaign hashtag was simplified to #ellieburn upon Sunday’s release of the video — which has already reached 200,000 views on YouTube. Takeaway: social is flexible and dynamic, but consistency is key when using multiple hashtags
  • Every contributor was credited as their 6-seconds of fame ran in the video. Takeaway: all it takes to inspire effort and investment is the hope of recognition; be generous with your brand’s influence

This is not Goulding’s first social media move. Previously, she utilized Instagram and the #EllieLyricsPhotos hashtag to produce a lyrical video for “Anything Could Happen”, and also thanked her fans with a “digital album signing” via a Google+ hangout in 2012. We applaud her as a musical talent, but we will coin her a #HashtagAdvocate.

The Hashtag Test: Best and Worst Practices for Social Media Marketers

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Hashtags are wonderful social media marketing tools. They can highlight trends, tie campaigns to chosen keywords, and isolate conversations. The allure of the hashtag is strong, especially for brands that desire a customized platform for their content. Twitter (and, to a lesser extent, Facebook, Instagram and Google+) thrives on hashtags for everything from primetime TV shows to organic political movements.

However, like all good things in life, the hashtag should be used in moderation. The pound sign carries great power, but only if deployed responsibly. TechCrunch’s Jordan Crook bluntly referred to users who abuse the hashtag as “hash-holes.” Avoiding that label requires an understanding of where the hashtag is most beneficial in messaging – and where it should never be deployed.

Here are some examples of good and bad hashtag strategy in brand social messaging:

Bad practice: Leveraging trending hashtags without tying back to your products

What is the purpose of your hashtag? Is it merely to capitalize on a common or trending phrase, or does it have a direct connection with your brand’s products and services? Jumping on a fast-moving topic is good newsjacking practice, but there must be an end goal with the tag’s usage.

In Twitter’s earlier years, a British furniture store attempted to capitalize on trending topics by including respective hashtags in their messages – without any real connection to the promoted product.

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HabitatUK’s audience was understandably annoyed by the chain’s poor hashtag strategy. The story has since cemented itself as a prime example of awful social tactics in general – the company didn’t acknowledge and correct the behavior for several days afterward.

It’s far too tempting to throw in a hashtag just because it’s popular. If it doesn’t make sense with your message, the audience will reject it.

Best practice: Create hashtags that mirror your brand, and give people reasons to use them

Using existing trending hashtags may help bring short-term traffic to your landing pages, but the real benefits come from creating your own branded hashtags. Condense your company tagline, name or campaign into a short tag, and deploy it consistently with your messaging. Tie that tag to social campaigns, encouraging followers to use it for specific incentives. Over time, the audience will tie that tag to your brand, and you can track engagement via hashtag searches.

Sharpie didn’t stray far from the brand when they created their company hashtag. The #Sharpie tag, which uniquely ties to the company, was used to invite artistic submissions from followers. Users responded en masse, posting their creations and increasing Sharpie’s brand awareness.

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Sharpie benefited from their branded hashtag by promoting creativity and self-expression – concepts that align with their overall messaging strategy. Even if a branded hashtag doesn’t generate as much traffic as a generic tag, you have far greater control over its usage.

Bad practice: #Using #Too #Many #Hashtags #In #Your #Posts

Just reading that headline makes my head hurt. Hashtag overuse is a common error in social messaging, sending signals of desperation and inexperience. Abundance of hashtags in social posts has even encouraged some users to create websites dedicated to righting the practice.

Excessive hashtags are problematic on personal accounts, but they are downright fatal on brand accounts.  A recent Statista study found a direct correlation between user engagement and hashtag use per Facebook post:

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In short, more hashtags equals fewer interactions. Any brand that posts 10 or more hashtags in a status update significantly hinders reach ability and reputation management.

Best practice: Use a handful of targeted, keyword-driven hashtags

One targeted hashtag that aligns with your buyer personas is far more powerful than 10 unrelated trending tags. Hashtag quality far exceeds quantity, even if the overall engagement numbers are lower.

Dairy Queen utilizes a handful of primary hashtags for their social campaigns, both branded and non-branded. Their recent #LoveMyDQ campaign also leveraged more common hashtags like #cake and #chocolate – though within the context of their branded terms.

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Campaigns like #LoveMyDQ allow Dairy Queen to leverage a unique, targeted hashtag for creative responses from their target audience. They can then categorize based on hashtags for easier analysis and tracking.

Bad practice: #Stringingabunchofwordstogether

Seriously – just don’t do it.

Proper hashtag use can ignite a campaign on social media, but improper use can irreparably damage your brand’s reputation. These examples should help clarify best practices for hashtags, and how to avoid the most common blunders.

However, if recent reports from Twitter’s CEO are true, we might not need to deal with this issue much longer.

Have you seen any other good (or terrible) examples of hashtag use from brands?

Photo credit: Wikimedia

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© Online Marketing Blog, 2014. | The Hashtag Test: Best and Worst Practices for Social Media Marketers | http://www.toprankblog.com

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We are responsive. We are parallax. Driven by #HashtagMarketing
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HashtagMarketing content strategies are embeddable news feeds rich with native advertising format published by leading web publishers across the web. The conversation trend formatted with rich native unobtrusive editorial ads fits right in with the publishers web interfaces accessed by million subscribers from various web devices including mobile & Smartphone. The reach of these social…

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The San Francisco Giants give away the first pitch of the season using a hashtag and live tagboard screen

San Francisco Giants fan Dan Jackson was having a pretty normal Thursday. He spent his day as he usually does, as an account director for a local agency, and prepped to leave a bit early to catch the first Giants game of the year. Little did he know what the evening would have in store. In fact, if you had told him what would happen next, he would have thought you were crazy.

Around that same time that day, the marketing team at the Giants found out that they needed someone to throw out the first pitch. Bryan Srabian, Director of Digital for the team, came up with a brilliant idea to give the rare honor away to a lucky fan using social media. This is something that is no doubt on the bucket list for any fan. He came up with the hashtag #SFGBucketList, which perfectly captured this organic opportunity. They would promote the hashtag in the stadium using Tagboard’s on-screen technology.

When asked more about this idea, Srabian said, “there is so much potential to connect with your fan base utilizing social media and Tagboard’s functionality.  When we found out that we needed a ceremonial first pitch, we immediately identified our fans on social media. From there determined that this could be an entertaining feature on our Video Board as well as rewarding with fans.

Using the Tagboard, the team put up a stream of user generated social media posts on the scoreboard. They also created a short video informing fans how they can win the opportunity. This created a snowball effect of posts coming in from fans all over the ballpark. Hundreds upon hundreds of posts came in during this short time from fans young and old.

The Giants picked a very loyal fan by the name of Dan whose post on Vine (below) was curated to the big board. His clever short video caught the attention of Srabian. The video showed Dan practicing a pitch with an orange.

Throwing out the first pitch at a Giants game is something I never thought I’d ever be able to do. When I found out I had the opportunity to I absolutely couldn’t believe it. I had 15 minutes to get there or they would have someone else do it, so I ran 7 long blocks to the ballpark. I arrived completely out of breath and dripping sweat, and had only a few minutes to spare before I was up! The whole thing was so surreal, from walking out onto the field, stepping onto the mound, seeing all the people in the stands, and throwing the pitch to Romo — it was just amazing. I still can’t believe it actually happened! For the rest of my life I can say I threw out the first pitch at a Giants game (Giants/A’s game no less!) — and that is pretty incredible.

When asked about the experience, Dan had a lot to say, “As a huge Giants fan and a big social media user, I’m super excited about them integrating fan’s posts on the big screen this season! The Giants have done a great job so far harnessing the energy and enthusiasm of the fans on social media, and this addition really takes it to the next level. So often, going to a game is such a one-way experience, like watching a movie in the theater. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but this will make it a much more interactive experience, and makes it rewarding for everyone who participates. I mean who doesn’t like seeing themselves up on the jumbotron! I can’t wait to see how they continue to use this technology and see what they do next.”  

We love seeing our customers using our technology to build stronger relationships with their fan base. This is an amazing example of a very clever idea that was made possible through Tagboard technology.

Srabian added, “with very little promotion, we immediately created a uniquely customized and popular promotion for our fans, and something that we can now build upon. Tagboard’s powerful and versatile functionality allowed us to pull this off quickly, and with great success.”  

We look forward to showcasing more of our projects with the San Francisco Giants as the season gets underway. #StayTuned!

—Josh Decker, Tagboard CEO

Online Marketing Evolution: Are you in on it?

Web evolution is happening too fast and all major players are scrambling to be in the game. You either make it or you don’t and Microsoft is not taking it sitting down. I’m still confused about the companion web concept and why I would want it, but here goes; you tell me:

The Companion Web: Why We Want to Use Our Phone to Control Our Tablet

Every time a baby is born, five new mobile devices are activated and an angel gets its wings.

The devices don’t belong to the baby… it’s just a way of showing you how crazy this whole mobile device movement has become.

Continue reading on ‘Companion Web’ here.

Here’s the demo vid:

So, I do article blogs and recently, someone showed up at the comments section and asked if we could exchange guest posts. We all know that someone’s trying to build links to his own blog. Here’s the thing. I do like guest posting but I choose who based on their track record; this says it all:

Heart to Heart About Link Building - Whiteboard Friday

So today I really want to have a heart to heart about link building with everyone in the viewing viewership. Here’s the thing, guys. I’ve been telling you about tactics that I employ that I have a lot of success with, and it’s not that you’re not doing them. It’s that the ones that you are doing, you’re continuing to just run into the ground.

Now, let’s talk about that for a second. So these are emails that I get all the time where people are like, “Hey, I write guest posts. Do you want one?” They’ll send me a really generic guest post about SEO. I’m like, “Did you read my site?”

Now, I don’t react too kindly to that but real webmasters, like the guys who have blogs and they’re trying to live off of this, when they see emails like that, they’re going to get pissed at you. So stop doing that. Stop it. Stop it. I’m tired of those things.

More on ‘Link Building’ here.

Speaking of back links and hyper links and all the links to kingdom come – wise entreps are aware that hashtag marketing is one good linking strategy that can effectively put your product out there. But as will any marketing strategy, you have to approach it with caution and I saved this article from the net as a constant reminder:

Hashtag Marketing: Is your business trending?

SEO experts refer to Facebook’s hashtag as an SEO game changer. But what is a hashtag and why is it significant to web marketing?

Most people who have social network accounts use hashtags or know how to use them. Hashtags provide a simple window for internet users to find topics that they’re interested in. It gives them access to opinions, facts and one-line reviews on brands, products and services.

However the window opens both ways; hashtags also give businesses the opportunity to know who their consumers and critics are and to assess the perception of their brands.

Interested on maximizing hashtags for your marketing campaigns? Click here.

With the content phenomenon going on, it bewilders me that some are still too buried into the SEO technicalities. You’ve got to renew your mind and get into the right perspective – content is king means prioritize value even if it means giving up on the idea of SEO.

(via Choc Chip Digital)


Brands and Influencers Share What They Do with #DescribeMyJobToA5YearOld | Social by Definition
Sometimes things are best stated in simple terms. #DescribeMyJobToA5YearOld lets brands and influencers share what they do in a fun way. The hashtag challenges companies to think outside of the box in their social campaigns, and encourages them to jump on trending topics. Below are a few tweets from brands that succeed in attracting Twitter users, while channeling their inner child. Man Repeller
Launched: Hashtag Definitions

When we launched Tagboard we endeavored to bring new tools to the public that help show off the power of the hashtag and its potential to help bring together people and communities. Aggregating social media from different networks is just a part of that tool set, so today we’re excited to announce we’ve released a new tool: hashtag definitions.

Whether for a non-obvious acronym (#OSM), an interesting brand name (#EarthBar), or a trending topic (#FallFashion), hashtag definitions will help clarify and contextualize those hashtags that may not warrant a full tagboard – with ownership, moderation, customization, etc. – but that still bring together a community with shared interests.

Adding a definition is as easy as searching a hashtag on tagboard.com, viewing the results, and clicking the “Define” button underneath the hashtag header. Right now, the latest definition provided is the one that sticks, but we’ll be working on ways that the community can vote on and select the best definition.

There are other similar tools and catalogs out there, but we have heard loud and clear from our users that there needs to be a centralized, cross-platform, and open way for hashtags to be defined. That’s why we built our definitions library, but are not confining to tagboard.com. We made an open API for anyone to source, and even add, definitions. We are still working through the kinks, but if you have an app or service that you think would benefit from hashtag definitions, you can request access to the API here.

Our goal is to equip #hastagvocates and social media enthusiasts to be able to quickly and easily define what a hashtag means in the hopes of building a robust library of definitions. Eventually, we want anyone who wants to use a hashtag in their post to be able to discover and select the best one(s). So, naturally, the next step will be building a recommendation engine, powered by fellow netizens, all pulled together using the world’s greatest meta-mechanism: the hashtag.

Enjoy and #KeepHashtagging!