I spoke at WOM UK (Word of Mouth UK Association) last Thursday about Like Minds and how Spreadability is beating Reach (you can see the slides here on slideshare.net), and one of the things that I spoke on was how the Like Minds platform is the #likeminds hashtag.
Today I’d like to just discuss a few thoughts on #hashtags as platforms, as well as point to what I think are the issues that we face with this.
Statistically, let me just point out the trend that I’m sure most of you are experiencing:
- More is said about you on Social Networks than on your blog comments
- Twitter is your main traffic source above Google
- Your #hashtag has more users than Twitter followers, RSS subscribers and unique visitors.
This for me means:
- A home base is important, but people are talking more about you than they are with you (Conversation With vs Conversation About)
- This means people are using the tools they already have, in the social spaces they already occupy, to discuss you
- This means a platform must be light touch (especially as passports are becoming more common)
The Solution: #Hashtag as a Platform
In my model on The 6 Social Media Presences, I say that the Platform Presence is useful because it gathers. Previously we have thought of Platforms as a place where we must sign up, get connected, engage, comment, etc – essentially all acts that require us to come. But I believe that we are entering an age where platforms are of such a light touch that they automatically gather, rather than requiring us to gather ourselves.
When we think about a hashtag, it uses the tools and social spaces that I currently inhabit, with the simplicity of a typed word, to gather me with like minded individuals, who I can simply track using the tools I already have in the spaces that I already inhabit.
What Do You Think The Repercussions Are?
When I think about Facebook Pages and Facebook Groups, I consider most of them to be very static, with people only ever leaving one or two messages on the walls and then leaving them as badges on their profile. This model of a platform is antiquated.
The new #hashtag platform is dynamic, constantly updating, completely user generated, and truly social. It doesn’t require months to build up forum stars. it doesn’t require a page that must be visited (like Facebook). Instead, it can used immediately, and sits as a search in our client.
Let me hear from you – I’m sure you can expand this idea:
- What other benefits are there?
- Is there a more powerful, yet as simple to use platform out there?
- How much can the #hashtag scale, given that already some #hashtags are very noisy?