Hashtags. Anyone one that knows anything about Twitter is somewhat familiar with hashtags. It is anything that follows the “#” sign. The beauty of a hashtag is that it can string together thoughts, conversations, and topics. I’ve shared some thoughts about how organizations can win with hashtags previously on this site.
Tonight, I’m watching the Brewers and Cardinals playoff game when I noticed the hashtag. You’ve probably noticed hashtags during some of your primetime TV shows such as The Voice. During this NLCS game they have the hashtag #POSTSEASON plastered on the outfield wall of Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
What does this have to do with organizations, though?! Well, let’s think of all the crazy things that Major League Baseball could have picked to be their hashtag for this event:
- #nlcs / #alcs
- #nlcs2011 / #alcs2011
- #nlcs11 /#alcs11
- #MLB11 / #MLB2011
- OR… #WorldSeries / #WorldSeries11 / #WorldSeries2011
Off the cuff, this is a lot of options – not to mention any hashtags related to teams: #Cardinals, #StLouis, #Brewers, #Milwaulke, #Tigers, #Detroit, #Rangers, #Houston!
If you are going to be using a hashtag for your organization’s event, think about how you might make it common sense and not cryptic. The MLB wisely picked #postseason. Postseason is a phrase that people already associate with these games. At 10 characters, it isn’t taking up too much Twitter real estate of the 140 character limit per tweet.
Besides picking a logical hashtag, you won’t engage fans, members, or the twitosphere if you don’t promote it. By defining the hashtag, the MLB has encouraged the conversation to take place. Their efforts to define the hashtag have been obvious to anyone that might be interested on various channels:
- Their homepage of MLB.com
- On Twitter – @MLB is tagging #POSTSEASON and retweeting posts; that models the way and encourages the conversations.
- On the outfield wall! Social media needs to translate into real world touches. This hits the viewers from the stands and those that are watching at home (like me). Check out this picture!