#BuildingCommunities: Hashtag Campaigns
Hashtags are a unique way to create online communities. They allow people to feel like they are a part of something unique and to participate in a shared experience. This is why online advertising is incomplete without a hashtag. Coke’s #ShareACoke campaign encourages people to share a picture of a bottle of coke with their name on it. The hashtag added to the mass appeal as it allowed people to collate their experiences and come together all centred around Coke’s product.
Cultivate Collaboration: User Generated Content
With the rise of social media personalities like YouTubers and influencers, relatability has become a key aspect of most online content. Social media personalities offer the promise of glamorized mundane experiences. Hence, it is the glamour which gets them eyes, yet it is the relatability aspect of the mundane that builds them a following as people like to see themselves in the content.
The photoblog Humans of New York (HONY) is centred around telling the stories of normal New Yorkers. Its conversation story-telling style coupled with strategic use of personal images has garnered it a massive following and even inspired another blog in a different city called Humans of Bombay. HONY offers a beautified, edited version of a regular New Yorkers life which is why it has mass appeal.
Sharing is Caring
Shareability is a key aspect of online content. When a user is sharing your content, they are aligning themselves with it as well. Hence, personalization increases the shareability of content. Facebook makes compilations of photos and videos on your account for special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, etc. These induce nostalgia in their viewers whilst also allowing them to associate these memories with Facebook. Hence, Facebook is also able to cement its own importance in your life by being the one to store and provide you with these memories.
A Helping Hand: Customization and Recommendations
Browsing for content online can be slightly tricky if you do not know exactly what you are looking for. With plenty of choices and an abundance of platforms to consume it on, personalizing a user’s experience with your content is essential to get them to stay with you. Amazon’s recommended products section is an instance of customization done right. Through their algorithm, the website makes suggestions based on what you have previously bought, hence taking into account your history with the organization. Netflix and Spotify are also examples of how customization allows users to have a uniquely tailored experience that is made just for them.