#Hashtags: Big Business or Bust?

Hashtags

Hashtags — love them or hate them? Are they good or bad for business?

Let’s take a closer look at the world of hashtags…

On the positive side, hashtags open up your social media updates to a whole new world: non-subscribers, non-fans and non-followers. Searching hashtags brings potential fans, followers, subscribers — and customers — to your doorstep. Whenever I use hashtags, I always receive more traffic from those outside of my network. I’ve also come across brands — both personal and corporate — on Instagram and Twitter that I probably never would have found otherwise.

Hashtags are also a wonderful way to have a conversation online. Stay up to date with webinars, events, ad campaigns, sporting events, etc. by searching for the hashtag and participating in the conversation. As a marketer (or event professional), designating hashtags for your campaigns and events is a great way to invite attendees to join the conversation, build momentum pre- and post-event, involve those unable to attend and integrate your online and offline marketing efforts.

#Olympics hashtag search

The #Olympics hashtag: insight and insanity

For example, Twitter noted that the #SuperBowl hashtag was used 3 million times over an approximate 5-hour time period. As a marketing professional, you’re probably excited to jump in! But slow down — and do the math. That breaks down to an average of 167 tweets per second. And remember, anyone can use a hashtag — not only brands, companies or excited fans talking positively about your product or service. Someone complaining about a sideline reporter’s outfit or a celebrity that’s spotted in the crowd will show up in that hashtag search as well. As Oreo showed us, hashtags don’t make the tweet.

Power outage? No problem says Oreo.

Oreo stole the show on Super Bowl Sunday. No hashtag needed.

Another negative aspect is what I like to call ‘overhashtagging.’ I’m pretty sure that’s not a word, but it is in my dictionary. #Have #you #ever #read #a #tweet #like #this? #Probably #not #because #its #so #annoying. I’ve spoken to Twitter users regarding hashtag use and come across research that noted readership (and engagement) drops after 2 – 3 hashtags. Of course, it’s not just on Twitter; we’ve all seen photos maxing out the 30 hashtag limit on Instagram. As my mom always says, just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. #justsaying

In summary, hashtags have good and bad qualities like most things in life. They can be used correctly or abused as some of the pros and cons below show.

Pros

  • gain new followers, fans, subscribers and possibly customers
  • have a conversation online
  • bring event attendees into the conversation, including pre- and post-event
  • integrate online and offline marketing efforts
  • help a campaign go viral

Cons

  • new followers may be temporary or fake
  • aesthetically unpleasing
  • overuse is distracting / hard to read
  • overuse lowers readership / engagement
  • get lost in the sea of popular hashtags

I came across an insightful comment by Daniel Victor, social media staff editor at The New York Times, which sums up my opinion of hashtags well.

“Here’s where I’ll join the rest in unquantifiable hoodoo: I believe hashtags are aesthetically damaging. I believe a tweet free of hashtags is more pleasing to the eye, more easily consumed, and thus more likely to be retweeted (which is a proven way of growing your audience). I believe for every person who stumbles upon your tweet via hashtag, you’re likely turning off many more who are put off by hashtag overuse. We need not banish the hashtag, but let’s start putting more thought into when we’re using it.”

Your Thoughts

What do you think? Are you a hashtag user or recovering abuser? Refuse to use them?

Have hashtags been beneficial to your business? Or hurt your online brand?

Please chime in with your thoughts on the wonderful, wacky world of hashtags! Feel free to link to articles, blog posts, studies, etc. (including your own) on the subject in the comments as well.

Additional Reading

Hashtag (first) photo courtesy of Michael Coghlan via Creative Commons License

#EnjoytheWeekend!

Jaime

p.s. Sunday, June 30th, is Social Media Day 2013! Join CCC as we celebrate (virtually) the power of social media in our lives. View the event invite for details and social media resources.

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What The American President Got Right About America — And Marriage Equality

I thought this post from March 30, 2012, was especially relevant today and worth a share.

What The American President Got Right About America — And Marriage Equality.

Please read and share your thoughts…

Cheers,
Jaime

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Table Top

Clearly Conveyed Communications is excited to share our second guest blog post, Table Top, by Sage Doyle. Following is an original poem by Mr. Doyle that he was willing to share with our readers. Enjoy!

Who is Sage Doyle?

Sage Doyle GravatarSage Doyle is a mainstream novel writer pursuing
publication. On his blog, he features a mix of
poetry and short fiction, including the ongoing
story, The Journal of Wall Grimm (which
contains mature content.) Mr. Doyle has a B.A. in
English and an M.S. in Psychology/Counseling.
His approach to fiction writing is character-
based, psychological and literary. You can
connect with Sage on Twitter @sagedoyle or via email at sagedoyle@yahoo.com. Sage Doyle is a pen name.


Table Top

by
Sage Doyle

I see my hand spread broad across the table top

empty upon the flat of my palm

with nothing to grip but the energy of my conviction

without a source to comfort the calm

and the swallowed voices of the years ahead

a golden lashing across the table

slashes my hand in a band of shadows

breaks my mind as my urges are fed

golden shades turning amber

turning gold and dark again

the bending dusk imparts the room

branded, awaiting my moments of pain

no thoughts are left, no more to hold

swollen from the passing day

bearing each moment to come, each time foretold.

Related Reading: The Opera: Chapter One 

*****     *****     *****     *****     *****

We hope you enjoyed Sage Doyle’s original work! Please visit his blog to enjoy more of Mr. Doyle’s writing and leave a comment with your thoughts below.

Also, we would love to host more guest bloggers! If you’re interested, please review our invite and get in touch!.

Cheers! 

My 2013 Bucket List: Six Months In

“Some people create a bucket list because they are dying; I created one because I want to live.”     –Lesley Carter

Earlier this year, I came across Lesley Carter’s 2013 bucket list and was inspired to create my own. (Ed. Note: If you haven’t checked out Lesley’s Bucket List Publications, please do so. What an inspiration!)

Related reading: My 2013 Bucket List: What’s On Yours?

It struck me a few days ago that we’re already half way through the year. Crazy, isn’t it?! So I wanted to post an update and see how I’m doing so far.

Without further ado… (items crossed out have been accomplished:

  • Attend a Kent State University basketball game (my alma mater!)
  • Go ice skating
  • Watch a hockey game live
  • Attend a professional networking event
  • Go for a twilight hike
Lake Erie Monsters hockey

I love Zambonis! Watching the Lake Erie Monsters

  • Enter a trail running event
  • Register for my first triathlon
  • Get together with my family at least monthly <So far, so good!>
  • Celebrate special occasions with family & friends <Just celebrated my sister-in-law’s birthday and Father’s Day this past week! Next up, my brother’s birthday.>
  • Watch the inauguration festivities for the first time
Valentine's Day wreath

A slightly different take on a Valentine’s Day wreath…

  • Bring on 5 new dream clients <On pace, lots of activity right now…>
  • Read 100 books! (Yep, full fledged book worm here.) <I need to start counting!>
  • Write the first chapter of my novel
  • Make time for me 🙂
  • Jump out of another airplane!
Dark Tower Series

Finished 6 of 7 Dark Tower books by Stephen King… along with a few others.

  • Go to the theatre
  • Pay It Forward
  • Learn a new skill
  • Take advanced coding classes
  • Attend a NASCAR race
KSU + Haven of Rest = Pay It Forward

Proud to join the KSU Alumni crew at Haven of Rest for National Day of Service 2013

  • Spa day 🙂
  • Finally bring home a furry friend
  • Travel, travel, travel — across town & across the world
  • Watch the sunrise
  • Watch the sunset
sunset at Canal Park

Watching the sunset at Canal Park

  • Step outside of my comfort zone
  • Watch the fireworks at an Aeros game
  • Book a spontaneous getaway
  • Unplug & connect with nature for a day
  • Laugh often
  • Create with my hands
Mother Nature's beauty

Enjoying the serene Alder Pond at Gorge Metro Park

  • Swim in the ocean
  • Walk on water again –> paddle boarding 🙂
  • Get up close & personal to the octagon at a UFC event
  • Be ready for my next great opportunity & pounce on it
  • Get muddy often

How about you? How are you doing on your 2013 bucket list? It’s not too late to create one! Leave your thoughts in the comments below or hit me up on social media.

Dark Tower books photo courtesy of The Dark Tower Official Website
All other photos from my personal collection 

Smiling in the sunshine,
Jaime

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What’s your happy?

Color Vibe Akron 2013

My sister-in-law, brother & I after Color Vibe Akron.

Smile, it’s Friday! So, what’s your happy? That moment, person, place or thing that always puts a smile on your face.

The picture above is one of mine; it was taken earlier this year after Color Vibe Akron.

What’s your happy? Leave your thoughts below, and enjoy your weekend! C’mon, let’s make a lot of people smile today. 🙂

By the way, Happy Flag Day, Old Glory! And a heartfelt happy birthday to the US Army. I would sing, but that’s not my talent.

Be colorful–
Jaime

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Behind The Scenes: Ahead of the Game

Most of my life I’ve been behind the scenes: backstage, behind the camera, off right, number two, backing someone up. Mostly by choice, sometimes by necessity.

See, it’s not that I wasn’t capable; sometimes, the person behind the scenes is really running the show. A linchpin, so to speak. This person wields power and shouldn’t be ignored.

A behind the scenes view...

A behind the scenes view can make the big picture crystal clear.

What’s my point? Know the situation you’re in; the players, who’s involved in the decision-making process. Titles can be meaningless, and seating arrangements misleading. That marketing coordinator in a cubicle? He runs the marketing department; his company recently moved to an open concept floor plan (no offices).

I’ve seen so many situations where someone never has a chance — to win the business, to land that dream job, to be invited to partner with an innovative organization — because he ignores the assistant that he arrogantly assumes is worthless. She’s not; she may be one of the most powerful people in the room.

While you should be nice to everyone in general, there’s also something else at stake.

In today’s society, that receptionist taking your phone call could have the president’s ear — and be an integral part of the decision-making process. The barista making your drink at Starbucks could be a power player in your industry someday (soon) — or the daughter of the Fortune 500 CEO you’ve been after.

Don’t judge someone by the position she’s in at the moment or for trying to show gratitude. That ‘young lady’ carrying coffee you came in the building with? She’s not an intern or assistant; she’s the CMO you’re interviewing with. I hope you didn’t miss that opportunity!

Speak out–

Have you ever misread a situation? Assumed someone wasn’t important when he was? Been misread yourself?

Chime in with your experiences so we can all grow together.

Cheers,
Jaime

Photo courtesy of Asian Development Bank on flickr

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I Am Me: A Retrospective

Ed. Note: Following is a character sketch I originally wrote as a 19-year-old on January 22, 2001 but never published. While some of the details have changed, this sketch still sums up who I am rather well. I’m thinking about writing a follow-up sketch to update some of the details. What do you think? 

I am me.

This simple yet powerful statement took me the better part of 18 years to figure out. From my bleached blond locks to my silver polyester shirt to my vinyl pants, I radiate style. Well, my style.

my teenage bedroom

My bedroom as a teenager… Priceless.

I am creative, eccentric, spontaneous. My orange and green bedroom walls are a direct extension of my soul. I read my Bible and Stephen King books. I love country music and rap. I love to laugh and make others laugh. I get impatient easily and hate to be bored. However, I can daydream for hours. I love to fly across the sky, where there are no red lights, stop signs and traffic jams. I want to ride across America on my Harley just to say I did it. I root for the bad guy in movies.

I believe in fate and destiny; I do have a purpose in life. I respect Elvis, admire Muhammad Ali and love Jesus. My biggest fear is being ordinary. I live by the saying “Life is a Journey. Enjoy the Ride.” When I die, I want people to look back and say, “Oh, she did.”

Your thoughts?

Happy Friday,
Jaime

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p.s. No, I don’t still have orange and green bedroom walls, but I am getting ready to paint them Key Largo and Sunwashed Blue. 🙂

This is a bookshop.

Love this sign! So true… books open other worlds for us to travel to and open our minds to possibilities we previously hadn’t thought of. Books can educate us, take us to distant lands and enrich our lives with culture. Books can spark love affairs that last a lifetime and lead us to pursue answers to life’s most intriguing questions.

What book has changed your life? Made you stop and think? Opened your eyes to new worlds? Pushed you to pursue your vocation or what you love?

Business or pleasure, or a little bit of both. Biographies, trade journals, fiction, science fiction, “chic lit…” A skinny novella or an epic masterpiece.

Join the discussion by leaving your comments below…

Cheers,
Jaime

101 Books

I saw this image in the Reddit Book forums a few weeks ago, and I had to share it on my 101 Books Facebook page.

I just have one question:

Where is this bookshop, and how can I go there? I’ll just forget that they incorrectly hyphenated bookshop and crossroads.

P.S. I’m not trying to start a flame war between digital and paper books. I’m pretty much over that. But I still love a good, old-fashioned “bookshop,” and I hope they never go away. I don’t think they will.

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