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If the Wizarding World Had Modern Technology

Purple Flowers In Boise

I just got done reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. For all you muggles, that’s the last book. It’s always bitter-sweet finishing that series. I laugh, I cry (a lot) but mostly it makes me long for my Hogwarts letter. I like the simple life of spells and potions and a little adventure towards the end of the school year. There are no cellphones, no internet and no status updates.

Speaking of cell phones, I get this argument a lot: Why doesn’t the Wizarding World have cell phones? Simple. Cell phones were still fairly new. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone takes place in 1991, and the first cell phone was put on the market in 1984, only 7 years before. Sure, cell phones had gotten slightly smaller than the 80’s brick, but it was still big, bulky and hard to carry around. And people didn’t carry around cell phones in the 90’s like they do today. Simply put, there was no need for cell phones (not to mention the main characters were eleven in the first book).

Oh, how different the Wizarding World would be with modern technology.

For starters, owls would simply be pets. There would be no need to send mail if students could call or text their parents from Hogwarts. And what fun would that be? Getting mail is the best!

Molly Weasley wouldn’t have a reason for her clock. Molly’s clock is consisted of multiple hands, each hand representing one of the Weasley family members. The hands show exactly where each member of the family is: Hogwarts, The Ministry, The Burrow, etc. With social media, Molly would know exactly where her children and husband are by their status updates.

A satirical picture of a tweet from Ginny Weasley: Studying - #boring #whoNeedsPotions

Speaking of Facebook statuses, Voldemort would have found Harry a lot sooner. Let’s be honest, some people (teenagers) aren’t the smartest when it comes to social media. They post way too much information on their personal lives, including where they are.

A satirical tweet of theChosenOne: wand broke. but hanging with my homies in the forest outside of London make it all better.

The Daily Prophet would be all online. No need for newspapers with moving portraits, printing is a waste of money when you can post it on the internet for free. Howlers would be useless. The sorting hat wouldn’t be needed when you can check everybody’s social media pages to determine where students should be placed. The list goes on and on. But, Harry Potter wouldn’t be the same if witches and wizards had modern technology. These are the kind of things that make it so magical.
And never forget, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.

The Hashtag

hashtags1

#thisisnotwhatahashtagshoudlooklike. It’s frustrating being a social media marketer and scrolling through my personal newsfeed seeing hashtags used improperly.

Let’s go back to the beginning. Despite the popular rumor, Twitter did not invent the Hashtag. Hashtags started in the late 1990s where it was used to categorize items into groups on Internet Relay Chat. However, Twitter did make Hashtags popular when Chris Messina became the first person to use the hashtag on Twitter. He asked his followers how they felt about using the pound sign to group conversations together in 2007.

Tweet of @chrismessina: How do you feel about using the # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]? Aug 2007

The rest is history. Twitter adopted the Hashtag and other social media platforms followed suit.

Let’s talk about Twitter. Tweets that contain hashtags receive two times more engagement than tweets without a hashtag. And tweets that contain two Hashtags have a 21% higher engagement rate. So, obviously Hashtags are important. But this is where it gets tricky. A tip for all my Hashtag-happy friends: there’s a 17% decrease in engagement when tweets include more than two Hashtags. You have to know where the line is, and know not to cross it.

Another big no-no with Hashtags: using more than three words. #NYpizza is great. #IloveNYpizzasomuch is obnoxious. Tell your followers and friends what you want to say and use the Hashtags as a grouping method. After all, that’s why Hashtags were started by Chris.  There is also no benefit to #hashting #every #single #word. See how annoying that was?

Now that you know some basic etiquette for Hashtag use, try using it in your next marketing campaign. Hashtags have become popular with brands and their advertising efforts (remember Travelocity’s #IWannaGo campaign?).   When creating a Hashtag for your next campaign research what your audience is already talking about and create a unique Hashtag that is relevant and appropriate. Keep it short and simple and but brand specific. This will make it easier to remember and spell for your customers.

Your business can try a campaign Hashtag, #IWannaGo, which is typically used for promotional giveaways or an incentive to want to use the Hashtag, or a brand Hashtag #HaveABreak.  A brand Hashtag should be kept consistent on all social media platforms and for a longer period of time.

Kit Kat’s #HaveABreak Hashtag is brand specific (their tagline), unique and simple. Kit Kat uses it across all social media platforms, allowing their consumers to engage with the Kit Kat community online, in turn, generating free buzz.

A picture of an instagram feed for Kit Kat

So, just remember, keep it simple, relevant and don’t overuse Hashtags, and you’ll be just fine.

8 Ways to Get Your First 100 Twitter Followers

twitter

The average business has 14,709 Twitter followers.  Of course, they didn’t receive thousands and thousands of followers overnight.  It’s important to gain a following for your business. 91% of 18-34 year olds using social media are talking about brands. And 64% of consumers have made a purchase decision based on social content.

So, where do you start?

Here are 8 tips on getting your first 100 Twitter followers.  100 followers may not seem like a lot, but everybody has to start somewhere.

An infographic about acquiring users.

One Twitter Trick Every User Should Know

Statue of gods

33 billion Tweets are sent each day, making Twitter the most efficient global information network in existence. Though initially the twitterverse may seem overwhelming to new users, as you spend more time on the social network you’ll pick up best practices and slowly learn how to navigate the world of 140- characters. However, while mastering hashtags, re-Tweets and @ mentions may separate the experienced Twitterers from the novice, there’s one technical tip that separates the pros from the experienced.

Twitter Pic

When you have a conversation with someone on Twitter, it only displays in the feeds of people who follow both you and the person you are having the conversation with (since Twitter doesn’t want to bother everyone who follows you with your personal conversations). Twitter considers a conversation any tweet that begins with a username, or an @reply.

For example, if I were to say: “@Boiseskier Will you pick me up a coffee if you stop?” – that tweet would only appear in the feeds of people who follow me and @Boiseskier. I would consider that a good thing, since the majority of my followers probably wouldn’t care to see my personal conversation with @Boiseskier about coffee. However, there can be some instances in which Twitter limiting conversations to mutual followers is actually a bad thing.

What if I want to start a tweet with a username and it’s not a conversation – it’s something I want everyone to see? For instance:

“@Briansolis is talking about “the end of business as usual” in #nd of business as usual”t see?ne to see my tweet, regardless iy a bad thing. versation with.  SMSS12. Has anyone read it?”

Even though I’m trying to update all my Twitter followers on what’s happening in #SMSS12, and involve them by asking questions, Twitter doesn’t discriminate the difference between this update and my earlier conversation with @Boiseskier. Twitter sees this tweet as a conversation with @BrianSolis, and it will treat it as such; thus only showing my tweet to people who follow us both. Therefore, the majority of my followers won’t see it. #Fail

However, there is a way around this. If you want to start a tweet with a username, but want all of your followers to see it, you have to trick Twitter’s algorithms into thinking it’s a regular tweet – rather than a conversation. How? By putting something before the username! Perhaps you’ve seen tweets that begin with a period? Now you know why: it tricks Twitter.  Here’s an example:

[email protected] is talking about “the end of business as usual” in #SMSS12. Has anyone read it?

While my first Tweet would only get pushed to my followers who also follow @BrianSolis, this tweet will get pushed to everyone following me (even if they don’t follow @BrianSolis).

#Stop #Using #Hashtags #On #Facebook

House On Shore

The # symbol was invented to connect people, topics, and events you care about on social media. Though hashtags were initially invented to group tweets about a specific event or topic together for easy search, they have morphed into a form of creative expression. Since its birth on Twitter in 2007, the hashtag has found its way on television shows, advertisements, and other social networks like Instagram and Tumblr. However, one place you won’t find (functioning) hashtags is on the mother of all social networks: Facebook.

Though Facebook has been hesitant to adopt hashtags, Facebook users – unfortunately – have not. Since hashtags on Facebook are just dead text, they serve no purpose whatsoever.  Therefore, many people are beginning to use hashtags solely for nuanced articulation, rather than functional references/groupings. Using hashtags in this manner on Twitter wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing, since Tweets are limited to 140 characters. However, when you begin to incorporate this hashtag fad on Instagram and Facebook, people get a little excessive (to put it lightly).

Facebook with too many hashtagsI can understand the occasional Facebook user whose updates are a direct feed from Twitter and therefore contain a hashtag or two, but it drives me nuts to see photos with a million hashtags (like the one pictured to the left) in my FACEBOOK newsfeed. What’s worse, the people who post these photos to Facebook don’t even have a Twitter account, and therefore have no clue what a hashtag really is (or, needless to say, how to properly use one). So, hashtagging photos on Facebook turns into a game of monkey-see, monkey-do. The more people see it in their newsfeeds, the more people blindly join the bandwagon. Using hashtags on Facebook shows ignorance (and I won’t even get started on brands that do this).

So, for all you Hashtag-confused people out there, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Hashtags don’t belong on Facebook, EVER.
  2. When you post an update to Facebook, it publicly states where the update was shared from (Via mobile, Twitter, Insagram, etc.). Therefore, people can see if your Facebook hashtags are a direct feed from hashtag-friendly sites (like Twitter), and when they’re not it makes you look even dumber.
  3. ‘#The’ is not a hashtag. Hashtagging conjunctions altogether is unnecessary and should be avoided. (which brings me to my next point..)
  4. #Dont #hashtag #every #word #in #a #sentence – this does nothing but show ignorance
  5. Limit the number of hashtags in each post to less than 5 (I recommend 1-3). Photos with 10+ hashtags come off, at best, vain or crying for attention.
  6. Keep your hashtags short: 1-2 words, 3 max! None of this: “#everystormrunsoutofrain” (yes, I pulled this example directly from my Facebook newsfeed)
  7. Keep them relevant. If you posted a picture of yourself on Instagram, don’t throw in off-the-wall hashtags like #quote or #Love, just so more people will see it. Including irrelevant hashtags on your Instagram photos to get more likes makes you seem desperate and comes of spammy.

I realize that Facebook is currently testing hashtags in beta, but until they are a public feature the guidelines above still hold true (even if/when they are introduced on Facebook, don’t disregard steps 3-7).  On that note, I’ll wrap it up with a great quote from Miki Pereanu:

“Hashtags on Facebook – or what happens when idiots become inspiration for the greater good of marketing.”

 

#HappyHashtagging