From The Rock

What’s Next?

By | December 18, 2014

So this is my last blog post for 2014. As you read this, you are probably planning what you want to accomplish in 2015 and are wondering what the year will hold in store for you, your family, your business and your profession.

And you are not alone.

But first, I want to share with you my favorite story from 2014. I may have referenced it earlier this year, but these two related articles that ran in July in the Wall Street Journal were by far my favorite reads:

http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2014/07/29/howmanyistoomany-tallying-up-one-days-worth-of-hashtags/

http://online.wsj.com/articles/blinded-by-the-blizzard-of-hashtags-1406676440

I highly encourage you to take the time to read these if you are in marketing and communication. There are several takeaways that are still applicable:

  • Twitter and the rest of social media has become very noisy with many companies, large and small, trying to break through to the same audiences on a 24/7 basis.
  • Hashtags were a great initial way to try to measure the impact of campaigns, but now, they might be adding to more clutter.
  • If you want to try a hashtag for a campaign, make sure that it is common sense so that people will actually use it.
  • If your company wants to measure the effectiveness of a hashtag campaign, make sure that you have two categories: overall mentions and organic. I have noticed several local campaigns where upwards of 95 percent of mentions were from either the organization or employees of the organization. You just want to make sure that it is used by your audience.
  • And this is the biggest takeaway for me: Don’t lose track of your overall goal. It’s not to come up with the most creative and viral hashtag but to help indirectly impact your bottom line, whether it is sales, donations or whatever.

So what does this have to do with 2015 and beyond?

I’m glad you asked. My biggest takeaway with this is that something else will replace the hashtag in terms of marketing tools. Don’t get me wrong – I think the novelty of a hashtag will remain in western linguistics for some time. However, I am not certain that it will sustain its marketing power for too long, as these articles suggest.

So, in 2015, keep your eyes out for what is next. Don’t stay too focused on creating ideas that are based just on what is trendy and popular now. Just like digital media itself, marketing is always evolving.

And with that, cheers to a New Year, and may you all have a wonderful holiday season.