Who Owns That Hashtag? #bestcontentwins
Hashtags are becoming the new battleground for social engagement. As the holiday retail crush gets into full swing, an interesting new tactic is emerging as retailers begin to buy competitor’s names and hashtags as promoted accounts and tweets.
For instance, @WalmartSpecials appears as a promoted tweet on a “Target” Twitter search, and @AARP appears as a promoted account. It’s an interesting new twist as Twitter begins to monetize its search traffic in a Google-esque fashion.
Marketers used to owning trademarks will find this new environment challenging to navigate as anyone can use a hashtag, not only on Twitter, but across any social/digital platform they desire. At Collective Bias, we use #cbias with most content produced through our network. A simple Google search using that mark is an easy way to index content by retail and brand partners, but also to drive SEO across many channels from Pinterest to Facebook. We don’t physically own the mark, but easily produce more connected content which mimics an ownership effect.
There is little doubt we will see rapid innovation in hashtag employment. Promoted tweets and accounts are one of the first ways brands can buy hashtag and key words and targeting competitors is a tactic worth paying attention to. Will consumers find them helpful or spammy and annoying? HP has a primary promoted tweet today called #NameTuesday that is receiving both positive and negative reaction. As with all social content, control lies in the hands of the users. As with all media the question will be – does it drive behavior?