Hashtags are a popular way to curate content and provide a unique touchpoint for one-on-one engagement. A few things to keep in mind when using or implementing hashtags.
- Use hashtags other people are using.
The purpose of using a hashtag is to connect with other like minded folks and find similar content. As mentioned, hashtags are great for curating content, engagement and brand extension. But, if you are the only group using a hashtag, it doesn't really accomplish the above goals. Instead use other popular hashtags and gain traction there, before promoting your own unique hashtag. Examples of this are, #UNL (for UNL related content), #LNK (for Lincoln related content) etc.
- Make your hashtag unique (do your research).
If your hashtag isn't unique, there is a chance for a lot of "noise." What this means is there might be a lot of people already using that hashtag that's unrelated to your group or event. You don't want to wade through the different content shared and have to guess if it was intended for you. We recently promoted a hashtag for the State FFA Convention and after doing our reserach realized that the natural hashtag #NEFFA wasn't the best hashtag. #NEFFA was already being used a lot by a musical group with the same name, so instead of promoting and wading through the noise, we promoted the hashtag "#NEFFA15" making it unique to just our event attendees.
- Promote your hashtag.
If you want to implement a unique hashtag for your organization or for a group make sure you are continually promoting it. Promote it across ALL media platforms (social, print, digital etc.) and encourage the use and show your followers/users why it is important for them to use your hashtag. A great example of this is the hashtag #UNLarts, in which the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts has done a great job implementing and promoting their unique hashtag. The hashtag is posted around the college on posters, on their college's computer screensavers and it's used in their recruitment print materials. The college does a great job interacting with those who use the hashtag favoriting, resharing and repurposing the content shared, providing value to those users who use their hashtag.
- Unique hashtags are great for events.
We've seen great success promoting unique hashtags for events. Recently the UNL Modern Language Fair promoted a hashtag (#LangFair15) for their event to curate content, engage attendees and also give away prizes. They promoted the hashtag on materials for the event, announced it at the event and were actively engaging with those users who used it. This was a great use of a hashtag and helped them accomplish their goals at the event. The UNL Research Fair did the same by promoting their hashtag #UNLRF, by hanging signs with the hashtag at the event and consistently using the hashtag in the content they shared socially.
If you're thinking about starting a new hashtag for your group or for an event, let us know and we can help promote it and chat through the best way to implement it.
Infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge. The purpose is to present some complex information in a quick and non-complicated manner. The UNL brand is enhanced by illustrations, infographics, charts and maps, but consistency in their creation is very important. When creating these graphics, the use of secondary brand colors is permitted, but no secondary color must overtake the predominance of scarlet or cream. The style is flat, without use of drop shadows, 3D, or other fancy tricks. Strokes should be set to have rounded radius and rounded caps. Keep in mind the UNL brand color pallette and icons, patterns and textures when creating your infographics.
You can also test out your design skills by signing up for a free account with Infogram. Infogram provides a few free templates for creating pretty simple charts, graphs and other basic infographics you may want. There is a paid version too, if you need more features and design control. Check out Infogram ››
Usernames and Account Email Addresses
When setting up new social media accounts or new shared tools in your office, it is highly recommended to set up these accounts with a username/email address that is NOT tied to ONE person.
You can have vanity UNL email address or a gmail account set up to allow your team to have access to each of your platforms. Having platforms tied to an individual person can cause issues when people leave, retire or when student staff changes over.
If you already have all of your accounts set up with various email addresses, it is recommended to update those to one consistent email address, but still have unique passwords for each. This is especially important because the email address associated with your social account will be where new passwords are sent if you ever have to do the "Forgot Password Link."
May 2015 Commencement is quickly approaching. If you are creating, sharing or promoting any social content, we encourage you to use the hashtag: #UNL2015
Do you have an event coming up that you want to share the hashtag with other communicators on campus? Send an email to email@example.com and we will include it in our next SM roundup.
Have a question or want to chat more?
Do you have a follow up question or want to chat more about Social Media, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The @UNLincoln Social Media Round Ups are sent out every other week to the UNL Social Media User Group. If you want to be added to the listserve to receive a link to the round up in your inbox, send your request to email@example.com.