Hashtags Stories Of 2013: The #SFBatKid Rises

This post by Katie Williams is an entry to our $4,000 Blogging Contest. Katie serves as the International Marketing Manager of eFaqt, an education-tech startup in Amsterdam. She uses Hashtagify to analyze trending hashtags, and evaluate the success of various marketing campaigns.

This November the Make-A-Wish Foundation, along with Clever Girls Collective, and the city of San Francisco teamed up to grant the wish of 5-year-old leukemia survivor Miles Scott. His wish: to become Batkid for a day. Thanks to Hashtagify, we can take a deeper look into the rise of the #SFBatKid hashtag, and remember some of the highlights of Miles’s special day in San Francisco.

Leading up to the event: PR Best Practices from Clever Girls Collective

About two weeks before #SFBatKid became a worldwide sensation, Clever Girls Collective Founder Stefania Pomponi contacted the Bay Area Make-A-Wish Foundation. She’d read in a blog about Miles’s wish, and decided to reach out and offer PR support. She knew that Miles’s story had the potential to go viral because it was inspiring and could really involve the entire city of San Francisco.

Clever Girls Collective then immediately began creating a social media plan, which including securing the Twitter handles of @SFWish and @PenguinSF, and monitoring all of their social media activity.

As the team wrote in a CNBC blog post

People respond to significant stories via social media, whether you want them to or not, and whether you participate or not. Goal one is a story worth telling. The second goal is to do everything possible to steer the conversation and make it easy for people to contribute to your narrative.

The Clever Girls Team knew the importance of making information online accessible, and easy to understand. They immediately secured a Facebook page, and a blog.

They also stress the importance of scripting the social media component of an event. They used Batkid’s itinerary to plan a Twitter script using key points, photos, hashtags, and relevant details. By planning the social media script in advance, your team can save valueable energy on the day-of.

Clever Girls also fully staffed Batkid’s special day. They had two teams of about a dozen people each. The first team actually traveled with Miles, and reported on the on-the-moment happenings. The second team pushed scripted Tweets to the #SFBatKid hashtag, tweeted from personal accounts, and responded to high profile tweets regarding the event. According to the Clever Girls Collective, coordination and thorough planning are really the keys to starting a viral trend.1

The Day Of: Miles Gets His Wish and the World Cheers On

 

#SFBatKid became so popular that Miles even received a shout out from President Obama, which received over 7,000 retweets, and over 4,000 favorites.

obama-sfkid

#SFBatKid Hashtagify Analysis

Now, let’s take a deeper dive into #SFBatKid from a marketing perspective using Hashtagify’s various features.

Related Hashtags

Using Hashtagify’s “Related Hashtags” feature, one can see that due to the hyper-local nature of this story, many related hashtags were also San Francisco specific, such as #SF, #SFGiant, and #BayArea. It’s always important to check related hashtags so that you can increase the influence of your tweet. By adding on some additional related hashtags, your reach will be greater.

sfbatkid-hashtagify

Usage Patterns

Usage patterns is a great feature on Hashtagify that allows you to take a deeper look into how a particular hashtag is trending over time. For #SFBatKid, you’ll see that this hashtag really grew in popularity around the timing of the event, and then tapered off. You’ll find similar usage patterns for news topics that peak during the week of the event, and then dip down again.

sfbatkit-trend

In-Depth Intelligence

Using Hashtagify’s Premium version CyBranding Hashtag Intelligence you can dig even deeper into the analysis of the hashtag, for example getting a detailed analysis of the top 50 influencers

sfbatkid-top-influencers

Totally trending!

Using Hashtagify’s Top Influencers feature, we can see that the top influencers for #SFBatKid are news networks, and major blogs such as Time, and The Huffington Post. This is when you know that your hashtag has really sky-rocketed to virality. So, what have we learned from #SFBatKid?

Social Media Tips From Clever Girls Collective

In the end, these are the tips we can learn from the #SFBatKid campaign:

  1. Scour blogs and RSS feeds daily for new happenings. Remember, the Clever Girls Collective found Miles’ story on a random blog, and turned it into something big!
  2. Social good and other inspiring topics have a great potential to go viral.
  3. Planning, executing, and tracking your campaign is essential for success.
  4. Hashtagify’s multitudinous resources can give you invaluable insights on your hashtag, monitoring your campaigns, and your campaigns’ success.

1 http://www.cnbc.com/id/101207123

Big Ten football network: Who is the winner on Twitter?

This post by Randy Olson is an entry to our $4,000 Blogging Contest. Randy is a third-year Computer Science & Engineering Ph.D. student at Michigan State University working in Dr. Chris Adami’s research lab.

Big Ten football is also Big on Twitter. The season is closing today, so this is a good time to draw some conclusions.

Let’s start from the big picture of all the hashtags related to the Big Ten. Here’s a handy visualization I created from the hashtags data from Hashtagify.me.

Big Ten Twitter Hashtag Network Big Ten Twitter Hashtag Network
Click on the image to go to an interactive version of the network

Hashtagify.me tells us which hashtags are related – it does so by checking when the same two hashtags are mentioned together several times. It’s no surprise why #Spartans and #Buckeyes are so closely linked this year: The Michigan State vs. Ohio State Big Ten championship game rocked the football nation when the Spartans knocked the Buckeyes out of contention for the national championship game.

But what I found especially interesting (and puzzling!) here is that despite the fact that Northwestern University, Indiana University, Purdue University, and the University of Iowa have been a part of the Big Ten for over 100 years, their sports teams aren’t very connected with the other Big Ten sports teams on Twitter. This is in direct contrast with the relatively newer Big Ten teams such as Ohio State University, Michigan State University, and Pennsylvania State University, whose sports teams are all mentioned frequently with other Big Ten sports teams.

What’s going on there? Could it be because the other Big Ten teams didn’t didn’t perform very well in their games this year – so their fans weren’t raving enough on Twitter?

So, in the end, who won the match on Twitter?

Hashtagify.me also measures the relative popularity of all hashtags on Twitter, and here’s the final standings for our lot:

Popularity of Big Ten sports Twitter hashtags
Popularity of Big Ten sports Twitter hashtags

#Michigan is in the lead here, but… was that fair play? This hashtag is not only related to college sports, it’s used for everything Michigan, as we can see from its own related hashtags:

Screenshot from 2014-01-03 14:38:13

The strongest connection (thicker line) is with #Detroit, and then there are also #jobs, #news, #US… even if it is my sister University, in an unexpected turn of events, I have to disqualify #Michigan for not having a clearly defined sports hashtag.

#Huskers, #Buckeyes and #Badgers, on the other hand, are clearly referred to sports, so we can declare our winner: #Huskers, with a mere .3 points over #Buckeyes. It was a close one, and I’ll have to suggest Wolverines fans to use the #Wolverines hashtag instead of #Michigan if they want to be able to compete next year – competition on Social Media has its own rules, and you better stick to them if you want to win!

Twitter: Celebrities vs. Things That Really Matter

This post by Tarek Riman is an entry to our $4,000 Blogging Contest. Tarek is a Social Media and SEO Specialist, working in the fashion industry, and the founder of seomworld.

Everybody knows that Twitter is the favorite social media outlet for celebrities, who can reach millions of followers with their daily tweets. But how do the really important causes – such as Breast Cancer, Cancer, Movember, Greenpeace, Save the Homeless, etc.) – stack up to those celebrities in terms of popularity and general interest?

I wanted to study this matter using hashtags as a way to make the comparison, using data from Hashtagify.me and CyBranding Hashtag Intelligence. So I chose Hashtags related to causes, values, and global issues, and compared these trends with Hashtags associated with celebrities.

Let me warn you: The upcoming numbers may shock you, or even worse, ruin your mood.

General Popular Causes on Social Media

Starting from the relevant hashtags and the top influencers listed on hashtagify.me for those hashtags, I compiled a list of the global top influencers for some important causes:

1. The biggest environment/sustainability related accounts on Twitter

1. @Treehugger 260,838 followers
2. @sustaincities 60,062 followers
3. @GuardianSustBiz 59,599 followers
4. @sustainbrands 30,181 followers
5. @cdcgreenhealthy 12,381 followers

2. The biggest “Green” related accounts on Twitter

1. @algore 2,701,403 followers
2. @greenpeace 916,072 followers
3. @huffpostgreen 202,784 followers
4. @Planetgreen 149,979 followers
5. @greenforyou 37,306 followers

3. The biggest “Cause” related account on Twitter

1. @unicef 2,317,182 followers
2. @Charitywater 1,410,282 followers
3. @red 1,044,019 followers
4. @onecampaign 736,251 followers
5. @causes 132,207 followers

Celebrities

We can then compare the top 5 celebrities on Twitter:

1. @katyperry 47,898,456 followers
2. @justinbieber 47,353,946 followers
3. @ladygaga 40,721,478 followers
4. @taylorswift 37,148,051 followers
5. @britneyspears 34,411,074 followers

If we pick the 5th ranked showtime celebrity,  @britneyspears, and compare her to all the top Environmental, Green and Cause associated accounts on the net, here is what we get:

1. The biggest environment related and sustainable accounts on twitter 363,462

@britneyspears 34,411,074

@Treehugger  260,838
@sustaincities  60,062
@GuardianSustBiz  59, 599
@sustainbrands  30,181
@cdcgreenhealthy  12,381
2. The biggest green Related accounts on twitter 4,007,544
@algore  2,701,403
@greenpeace 916,072
@huffpostgreen  202,784
@Planetgreen 149,979
@greenforyou  37,306
3. The biggest cause related account on twitter 5,639,941
@unicef  2,317,182
@Charitywater  1,410,282
@red  1,044,019
@onecampaign  736,251
@causes  132,207
Total: 10,010,947 @britneyspears: 34,411,074

So, even aggregating the top 15 Twitter accounts for all these causes, we get to just 29% of the followers of the single account of the 5th ranked celebrity. And what we are really comparing here is information like this:

With this:

But just comparing followers for the top accounts doesn’t give us the full picture. How can we try to measure the total engagement for important subjects? I Tried to use these very important hashtags, measuring them for the whole month of November:

  • #HIV
  • #Sustainability
  • #sustainable
  • #green
  • #GlobalWarming
  • #poverty
  • #healthy – to add something that could be also a personal concern

When I added up the average daily tweets associated with all the concerns mention above, I got a total of 24,424. For comparison, this is barely 50% of the tweets associated with @justinbieber seasonal tour “#believetour”.

Hashtag/Cause Daily Tweets Daily Reach Celebrity Hashtag Daily Tweets Daily Reach
#HIV 3,516 32,617,047 #believetour 38,484 133,952,425
#Sustainability 3,051 4,317,860
#sustainable 1,531 2,617,917
#green 9,028 20,223,524
#healthy 4,822 16,001,052
#globalwarming 758 1,972,132
#poverty 1,715 3,015,558
Total 24,424 80,765,090

 

38,484 133,952,425

Unsurprisingly, the daily reach also had a similar ratio.

I find it shocking to see that most of our society’s interest lies on what celebrities are doing every day: From what gossip the showbiz world is witnessing versus what real issues of our society: Our planet, our health, and helping one another.

 

But this is also confirmed by Google trends. The volume of searches associated with global warming and deforestation are both decreasing, and they pale when compared for example to One Direction, which is actually moving in only one direction: “UP”!

Why are people ignoring the things that matter most? Are we just choosing to concentrate on what the media wants us to be concentrating on? Did we give up on each other? Did we give up on our own earth?

We should all dedicate some more time to our duties as social beings, share what matters, whenever we see someone asking for help: At least retweet, reshare, raise the awareness. It is just a click away, and that one click makes a world of difference.

And The Most Popular Hashtag In The World Is…

…#EMAzing!

Yes, #EMAzing was the most tweeted hashtag in the world last week. Not bad for a hashtag that just entered the top 30 chart; as a matter of fact, if you consider the full last month, #EMAzing was only 8th, left in the dust by #غرد_بذكر_الله, an Arab hashtag that tops the monthly chart and could be translated as “Tweet remembrance of God”.

But the real news, for us, is that starting today you can easily keep an eye on the top 30 hashtags for last month, last week, and just breaking out, and for 35 different languages: We just published hashtagify.me Popular Hashtags Charts, a new free feature for all those interested in hashtags.

Want to know which were the top 30 hashtag during the last week in, say, French? Just go to hashtagify.me, and click on our new Popular Hashtags menu

popular_hashtags_menu

Next, click the language selector and pick French

popular_hashtags_language

Last, click the Last Week tab

popular_hashtags_period

You can now see the top hashtags, with their rank (and rank change), their popularity, their popularity trend, and their main language – ie, the language that’s most commonly used with that hashtag.

As a matter of fact, a hashtag that is the most used in French tweets can be also used in other languages – and, like in the example above with #EMAzing, it can be used mostly in English. This is interesting, because it allows you find out which of the top hashtags are “native” to the language you’re checking.

So, this is how you can find the top hashtags in many languages. The data is updated daily – and, for the “breaking out” hashtags, in real time. We really hope you’ll enjoy this new free feature. And, if you like it, please, don’t forget to share your likes with your friends!

 

 

 

 

How To Amplify Your Event With The Right Hashtag

Choosing a suitable hashtag is essential for any large event, whether you’re active on social media or not (although you should be!). It takes thought, careful consideration and a dedicated effort to promote the hashtag before, during and after the event.

hashtag_world

A good hashtag will group everything together, helping your event to cross-over from the material world into cyberspace, creating a lasting legacy that you can curate in the years to come to show the world just how fantastic it was. And your events *are* fantastic, right?

 

Here are eight tips on best practice for hashtag usage at events.

Before The Event

1 – Do Your Research

Before choosing a hashtag, be sure to do your research. A good hashtag should be short, to preserve valuable characters, and memorable. You should also check to make sure that your hashtag isn’t already being used – generic terms will be cluttered and difficult to break through, and you want all (or at least 95%) of the tweets that use the hashtag to relate to your event.

Bad: #MicrosoftNewProductLaunch / #Launch

Good: #MSLaunch

2 – Promote On All Collateral

Once you’ve decided upon your hashtag, start using it in your tweets so that early adopters will see your existing tweets before they use the hashtag. Otherwise, you run the risk of people incorrectly assuming that no-one is using the hashtag and not bothering to include it in their future tweets. You’ll also want to make sure that it’s included on all of the collateral for the event, from e-shots and press releases to direct mail, posters and even the tickets.

If you avoid this crucial step, or carry it out half-heartedly, it will be difficult to gain traction and you might find that your perfect hashtag is left unused while people invent their own tags, scattering the information and making it harder for you to track your hashtag’s success.

During The Event

conference_hashtags

3 – Monitor the Hashtag

Have a social media team in place on the day to monitor the hashtag, retweeting the best messages and offering support to those with questions. Depending upon how big the event is, and how much is going on, you may need multiple people to take control of the Twitter feed. In these circumstances, agree in advance who will be responding to queries, and separate the live-tweeting duties between the other team members. You should aim to have at least one team member monitoring the hashtag at all times to offer support and encouragement and to foster interactivity.

4 – Use it Everywhere

Make sure you plaster the hashtag everywhere, from speakers’ slides to goodie bags, event programmes and any mobile app that you might be using. Think outside the box and include your hashtag anywhere you can, and ensure that it’s included in any speaker sessions or announcements that are made.

5 – Consider Using a Tweetstream

At some events, you’ll see screens scattered around that display a live-stream of the most recent tweets to include the hashtag. While this can be a risk, as you never know when a negative or offensive tweet might appear, it can also be incredibly rewarding. Including these visual representations of what’s happening online can encourage people to participate in the conversation and engender a sense of community.

Just make sure that somebody, somewhere, is monitoring the hashtag – you might find that people start posting defamatory or unrelated tweets purely to see whether they appear in the Tweetstream. In these circumstances, most tweetstream providers will allow you to blacklist individual users so that their tweets no longer appear. Good providers will also automatically censor profanity.

6 – Offer Unique Rewards to People Who Use The Official Hashtag

10516811_s

To encourage usage of your hashtag, promise additional rewards to people who use it in their social media posts. At regular intervals, choose a random user of the hashtag to win a prize, whether it’s extra swag, a meet and greet opportunity or a free drink. These random acts of kindness will quickly result in a positive buzz around the hashtag, and ultimately they’ll make the event more memorable for the lucky few who are chosen.

After The Event

7 – Use an Aggregator

You can use an aggregation tool like Storify to collect different types of media across the web and to embed it on to your website. Storify can also notify the sources, and best of all, it’s completely free! Using an aggregation tool helps you to expose all of the content that was shared during your event and to present it after the fact in an intriguing mix between a case study and a blog post.

8 – Analyse the Sentiment

Finally, after the dust has died down and the event is over, consider analysing the sentiment of the tweets that accompanied the hashtag to see what people really thought. Although there are expensive tools out there that can assist you to carry out sentiment analysis, from Radian 6 to Sysomos, you can do it on the cheap using tools like SocialMention and advanced Twitter search to get a good idea of whether the tweets surrounding the event were predominantly negative, neutral or positive.

Cybranding’s hashtag intelligence software will also allow you to pinpoint key influencers and contributors, and you can easily compare your own hashtag to that of a competitor. Better yet, you can isolate the negative tweets, find out what the problem was and aim to improve it for next time!

spotify

Conclusion

Choosing and deploying a hashtag for an event isn’t as simple as plucking something out of the air, tweeting about it a couple of times, and leaving it to make its mark. Like all social endeavours, it takes careful planning and nurturing to develop, but the results are infinitely more rewarding.

Have you used hashtags for your events? How successful were they? Let us know with a comment!

Author Bio

Dane Cobain is a social media specialist for UK-based creative agency fst the Group. He’s also a gadget-lover and tech fanatic, as well as an internet addict.

Cyrillic, Arabic, Chinese and all non-Latin hashtags are welcome!

Image credit: techinasia.com

It’s been a pretty long time since the last update to hashtagify.me, but things are going to change soon. For now, we are glad to announce that since yesterday hashtagify.me works correctly with all non-Latin alphabet hashtags.

The data for those tags has already been collecting for some time, so the coverage should be pretty good. If you want to explore hashtags in any non-Latin alphabet, now you can have your fun.

Bigger changes are going to follow soon. Stay tuned!

Hashtags on Google Plus too!

As pointed out by Chris Messina, the “inventor of Twitter hashtags” (rather, the one who pushed for their adoption on Twitter, which is no little feat), Google just rolled out hashtags autocompleting on Google Plus, thus giving their official support for hashtags there.

This is very good news, because hashtags are a really easy way to tell what your posts are about. And because hashtagify.me could add Google Plus hashtags data too in the future… would you like that?

Are hashtags too geeky for Google+? A meditated answer to Loic Le Meur

I was able to join Google+ last week, and found it very interesting for three reasons:

  1. Circles
  2. There are mostly early adopters, and this generates some very interesting conversations
  3. It isn’t blocked at my office yet, so I don’t have to resort to dirty tricks to use it like I have to do with facebook – yet

Is it all good then? Of course not, there are many useful features that could be added. But the one I really miss is tags. I fell in love with tags since I first started using del.icio.us (before the yahoo-less-licious days) and were delighted to see them spreading to more and more uses. It’s no coincidence that I created a website completely devoted to (hash)tags!

Today I found out I’m not alone when I stumbled upon a post on G+ about the use of hashtags on G+ itself. After all, the use of hashtags on Twitter started exactly because there wasn’t a tag feature there, like on G+ now. And, as I discovered later, the same Chris Messina who first proposed their adoption on Twitter did the same for G+ just four days ago.

Not everybody agrees, though. Loic Le Meur commented on that same post where I first read about the debate that “hashtags are geeky and they shouldn’t be added to G+”.

I answered that hashtags are geeky, but simple tags aren’t. But, on second thought, the real answer should have been: Hashtags can’t be “added” to G+; they weren’t even “added” to Twitter, only half-heartedly supported after their use became widespread.

So the real question should be: Should tags be added to G+? I definitely think they should; is there any better way to allow the discovery of interesting conversations? And: Are tags too geeky for G+? Considering that they’re also used on Facebook, I guess they really aren’t.

So please, Google, add our beloved tags to G+; and, while you’re at it, also add a sampling streaming API for public messages so that all sorts of interesting research could be done and, why not, so that I could also add the data from G+ to hashtagify.me :)