We experienced a year of both the expected and unexpected as social media became an even more integral part of mass culture and lifestyle.
Hashtags have been adopted across platforms, as an everyday tool to both express emotions and feelings, and also categorize events and activities.
Hashtags are prevalent in every industry, country and used by social media users of every demographic. And while they help identify current trends, their identification may also be an indicator of future trends as well. In looking back and looking ahead, we asked several online influencers to share their thoughts on their most memorable or important hashtag(s) of 2014 and asked them to give their thoughts on trends we may expect to see in 2015. See if you agree!
#BringBackOurGirls was the hashtag that sticks out in my mind from the last year.
The reason for me is that for the first time it raised the awareness for the horrible things happening to girls in other parts of the world. Sure, a lot of it was people jumping on a bandwagon, but I know it got more people thinking about global issues that were not before.
A hashtag can only do so much and the fact that these girls never were rescued or returned means that all the hype and attention didn’t lead to any actions. That makes me sad and angry, but I like to think that it at least educated more people about issues beyond just their computer screen.
#GivingTuesday is the tag I’m looking most forward to in the near year.
Each year this idea of giving to charities instead of only buying new stuff for yourself picks up a bit more steam. This year I hope is the turning point where it reaches the sort of level where everyone is talking about, major media outlets are encouraging people to take part and that it gets even a slice of the attention that black friday and cyber monday get.
C.C. Chapman is Founder of Never Enough Days, a conscience-based consultancy specializing in social good, cause marketing and corporate social responsibility. He is the author of Amazing Things Will Happen and the Co-Author of the International best-selling book Content Rules. Find him on Twitter @CC_Chapman.
There were many important hashtags in 2014 for charity, social good, and global health last year. For me, the most memorable hashtag was #EveryNewborn because there was a concerted global push by NGOs, global health agencies, governments, and civil society to work to save the lives of millions of newborns each year.
For 2015, I predict the most important social good hashtag will be #MDGMomentum as we count down the days until the Millennium Development Goals target Date this year.
Jennifer James is the founder of Mom Bloggers for Social Good (socialgoodmoms.com).
Jennifer was named a Fast Company Most Generous Social Media Maven, a Top Woman Changing the World by SheKnows.com as well as a Blogger Out to Change the World by Water for People. You can follow Jennifer at @jenniferjames.
Some of the most important hashtags of 2014 were #womenintech and #stem and #girls. Last year there were many articles on the diversity stats released from the tech companies. That helped spur the conversation for the need to #changetheratio (hire more women in tech jobs). The #womenintech hashtag also was used to share the accomplishments of women tech founders, leaders, executives, pioneers and coders.
Related to that was conversations about how to get more #girls involved in #STEM educational programs that can lead to future STEM jobs.
Search for #women #tech along with #womenintech in 2015 to see how women are rocking the tech world!
Beth Blecherman pivoted from Senior Manager, Deloitte, to consultant advising tech startups and journalist covering tech, travel, lifestyle & business. Her website TechMamas.com (Twitter @TechMama) is on lists such as Forbes Top 100 Websites for Women and AlwaysOn’s List of Power Players in Technology Business Media.
In 2009, I founded the #custserv chat on Twitter, basically to do research for a book I was writing on online customer service (The Ultimate Online Customer Service Guide: How to Connect with your Customers to Sell More! ). The idea of virtual (and public) confrontations with customers was very new. I saw this as a trend for the future and was pleasantly surprised that I was right. Social customer service is becoming the norm as social networks are where people communicate. Brands are learning this, but the trend is still in its infancy.
This is why #custserv has become such a popular hashtag. When customers have an issue with a brand, they have tagged tweets with #custserv. It has become an alert to the issues.
Looking ahead to 2015, #custserv, I believe, will continue to grow as brands come on board and become adroit on how to do social customer service without all the intermediary steps.
Marsha is the author of 48 books on the subjects of Social Media Commerce, eBay, Online Customer Service. She’s a Forbes Top 10 Influencer, Futurist, GigaOMAnalyst, Founder#CustServ chat and #techradio host. Follow Marsha on Twitter @MarshaCollier
The hashtags that are relevant to me and have the most impact are those I use for personal branding purposes…
- #RonR (Return on Relationship) http://ReturnOnRelationship.com is my philosophy and what I am all about.
- #KeynoteSpeaker is the hashtag I started using Q4 2014 to bring my content to the forefront of searches for Keynote Speakers and will use as much as possible in 2015.
- #tedsockie is a content hub for the sock photos I post which I have become known for… search on Instagram and see http://pinterest.com/tedrubin/we-heart-socks/
- #JustBeNice, @Just_B_Nice and http://tedrubin.com/just-be-nice/... because I think #JustBeNice and #RonR go hand in hand 🙂
Ted Rubin is a leading Social Marketing Strategist, Keynote Speaker, Brand Evangelist, and Acting CMO of Brand Innovators. ROR, #RonR, is the basis of his philosophy…It’s All About Relationships! His book, Return on Relationship was released January 29, 2013. His latest book, How To Look People in the Eye Digitally, is being released January 2015. Connect with Ted… http://TedRubin.com or @TedRubin.
Looking back: I’ve been watching the growth of #ad and #spon hashtags on multiple platforms this past year. For a long time brands were not requiring influencers and partners to use those hashtags. As questions about sponsored social content are raising eyebrows and spurring debate, more brands are insisting that their partners spare a few characters for hashtagged disclosures.
There’s still a lot of gray area about disclosure on social media platforms and compliance is inconsistent at best. I’ll continue to watch these business relationship hashtags in 2015 and wouldn’t be surprised to see some other more descriptive and/or alternative hashtags pop up.
However, the hashtags that I think are going to have the greatest impact in the year to come are of the #insertyourhashtaghere variety. As more and more brands come up to speed socially, the opportunity exists for everyone to create their own boutique hashtags. These can be extremely useful for growing community, customer service, tracking influences and influencers, conducting mini focus groups and tailoring products, services and special offers to a live audience of your brand’s following.
Now is the time to stake your claim, track and squat on that tag that best describes your product or service! The hashtag trends for 2015 that I predict are boutique hashtag cultivation and hashsteading. Just remember that unlike a URL, you can’t truly own a hashtag. Use it, or you will lose it.
Join @Hashtracking on Wednesday, January 14th at 7pm PT as we chat it up about these hashtags and more, and share some stats looking back over the hashtags of 2014. We look forward to seeing you there.