Football, Hashtags, & Conversation Conversions
I’m probably the only Razorback fan in the nation that’s looking at the online conversation surrounding the Sugar Bowl through the lens of social strategy but it’s a live example of what NOT to do.
To give some context, College Football stirs a religious fervor in this part of the country and every Saturday come game time you can expect the state twitter stream to explode with Arkansas Razorback football. Today, the Arkansas Razorbacks are playing Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl and it might as well be a state holiday.
Branding vs. Visibility
I give credit to @SugarBowlNola for a what they’ve done right. They started replying to people in the last 24 hours and they are sharing decent mobile pictures of the activities (even if they are using loathsome plixi, but I digress).
Their mistake however is costly, and one your organization needs to learn from, they faced a branding versus visibility question and chose poorly.
All their tweets are using the longer branded hashtag and everyone else in the world is using #SugarBowl. I’m sure some Allstate marketing Exec. thought this was a great way to enforce the Allstate Brand but in doing so they’ve punted on about 90% of the conversation.
According to Topsy:
I’d wager that by game time this evening #SugarBowl will outpace it 1000:1.
Which conversation would you rather be a part of?
Hashtags are a powerful way to encourage conversation, find opportunities to be helpful, and increase your brand’s awareness but here are the guideline to avoid making the same mistake:
- Shorter is Better – Tweets are 140 characters in length. Real estate is precious so keep the hashtag as short as possible.
- Intuitive – Most people don’t go searching for the correct hashtag they just assume and throw up a #. If you can define and publicize the hashtag in advance of the event then do but with a very public event go to where the conversation is happening.
- Goals, Goals, Goals – What is the purpose of @SugarBowlNola? I assume to encourage participation and visibility of the Sugar Bowl and Allstate. Is that better accomplished through using a hashtag that no one else is using or being helpful in the conversation that is blowing up? Easy choice.
When your organization decides to join the conversation on Twitter make sure you are joining the right conversation.
-PS: GO HOGS! #WPS