How to Start a Movement with a Twitter #Hashtag

#OccupyWallStreet is the tweet heard 'round the world

Today we are going to explore how to create a movement in the digital age with a Twitter hashtag. Let’s first provide some context. A hashtag is defined as a pound symbol followed by a word or phrase (i.e. #OccupyWallStreet).  In essence, it’s a community of people that engage by creating and sharing content around a specific topic, conference, event, crisis or news story. A hashtag enables people to easily search and track related tweets and spread ideas digitally to amplify your message.

Let’s look at a recent current event that effectively utilized a hashtag.

Case Study: #OccupyWallStreet

Occupy Wall Street is a movement that centers around the disagreement that main street has with corporate greed and the U.S. banking system. It all started on July 13th with a blog post on adbusters calling for its first people-powered movement on September 17, 2011 in Manhattan’s Financial District. Several weeks later, over 100 cities in the United States and actions in over 1,500 cities globally have been initiated by this movement.

Occupy Wall Street by the Numbers

  • Launched September 17, 2011
  • Raised $300K in the first 30-days
  • Spread to 100 U.S. cities and 1,500 cities globally
  • Twitter: @OccupyWallSt has over 100,000 followers

This type of traction is very difficult to create with the use of social media tools.

Mobile App and Beyond

A hashtag can be a powerful business tool that can be used to share and promote content and monitor conversations. Cross-pollinating your hashtag within your other social media channels (YouTube, Facebook, and LinkedIn) and linking it to a blog post or content on your company Website is critical for engagement.

Recently, Eyecon launched a new iPhone app called Eye-C Taglist that enables users to search and find hashtags easily from their iPhone. Since many people will be searching hashtags from their mobile device users will be able to perform very efficient searches.

While not every hashtag has the social and media legs of #OccupyWallStreet that’s not to say that proper use of one can’t raise awareness of your business, message or movement. The tools and resources are there, it’s on you to use them effectively.

Share with us how you are using hashtag!

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