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The small hashmark has evolved into a star, thanks to Instagram, Twitter and Co. Practically no other symbol is used more frequently in social media. It seems like it is impossible to get by without it. It is here to stay.

However, does it make sense to use hashtags also in communication campaigns or are they already “out” and annoying like QR codes? The square, which can be read on cell phones, was printed everywhere for some time. The madness even went so far that entire houses were covered with it. And yet it was never completely accepted.

 

With hashtags it appears to be different. First off, they have lasted for quite some time. Additionally, they offer a completely different function. Put a  # before a term and a keyword results that summarizes several things.

The terms may also be abbreviated. Here’s one example: #eatclean. Search Instagram for this keyword and you will discover innumerable images of food. People who like to show their food and eat “clean” –– natural, healthy and organic––display their lifestyles.

Not only do hashtags mirror social trends, they also create their own trends.

Take for example #fromwhereistand. Images appear on Instagram which show an aesthetic floor, a pair of shoes, and, at best, a chic designer purse.

picture: instagram.com/theworkinggirl

 

But how can you create and make use of your own PR hashtag? Content can be more easily found on social platforms. Additionally, you can reach people who have an interest in a particular theme. Social media campaigns with hashtags allow you to spread, guide, and track them more easily. For the communications industry a hashtag is the ideal instrument for monitoring.

Through the use of hashtags, the range of contributions can be enormously increased. Hashtags combine classic PR campaigns with the Internet and therefore are increasingly employed in the framework of cross-media campaigns.

One example from our portfolio is the Ciroc-campaign. With the hashtag #myarrival we launched the renowned vodka brand in Switzerland with a sparkling kick-off event in Zurich.

Rico Schüpbach