Hashtags are a breakthrough in the world of social media. They allow for users to bring otherwise scattered conversations into one stream. Some mistakenly just think they are a marketing device, but in reality they are a communication device. Yes, they do have marketing benefits AND they also have evangelizing benefits (which are are always far more powerful and way cooler than simple marketing anyway).
But the problem that has existed is that hashtags are (or were) contained within a particular service. So I know there is a larger conversation/story outside of say Twitter for a particular hashtag, but one would need to flip through the various networks to “see it”. That’s where the genius of the platform Tagboard.com comes in to play. Tagboard pulls posts containing any hashtag from 6 major services – Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Vine, Google+, and App.net – and returns the results in a Pinterest-style format. It’s quick too. Put in any hashtag in the home screen and just watch the conversation/story unfold. Plus, you can sign in with your accounts and interact right within the tagboard for that hashtag.
Sounds like fun, but what are the real benefits for evangelizing? Well, first is that one can bring an otherwise scattered and less impactful set of Catholic experiences together all in one spot to share with the world. Take this past year’s Catholic Media Conference that promoted attendess to use the hashtag #CMC13 . Putting that hashtag in the search returns the sights and thoughts of numerous attendees from various sources.
Do you want to go see that event next year?
The second part of Tagboard that I like is that you can then create a custom version of that Board and possibly moderate it (for an undisclosed fee at this time). Click here for an example of the Seattle Seahawks custom Tagboard. Think about then what a unique hashtag from you parish could become . . . a “cork board” of parish experiences shared with the world in real-time. Far less intimidating and an extremely powerful means to evangelize.
So how do you typically follow hashtags? How is your parish using hashtags?