Since the launch of social media in recent years, many brands and companies have been able to reach out to their audiences directly through their social media accounts. However the social media universe is vast and with high volumes of followers and users it can be difficult for the company/brands to find the exact information they need from their audiences and markets.
The use of a # on social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Tumblr allows these brands/companies to interact directly with their audiences and markets. For example the BRITS 2016 Awards are tonight and for the past few months their official Twitter account has asked the public to vote on who should win the British Artist Video award with the use of a the hashtag #BRITS followed by the name of the nominee’s music video for who they want to win e.g. #BRITBLACKMAGIC is you wanted Little Mix’s ‘Black Magic’ music video to win. Therefore when searching for these hashtags the BRIT Awards will only see information that it relevant to them, which is who has the most votes and then goes onto win the award.
By using a hashtag this gives the audience power as they are able to participate collectively with others. This can then often be used to create a force of power and help towards change if that is the overall goal, for example one of the most used hashtags at the moment is #Free Kesha. The singer and musician is looking to void her contracts with her producer – Dr. Luke – as claims have been brought to court that he has “sexually, physically, verbally, and emotionally abused” her to the point where she almost lost her life. Kesha’s fans are hoping that with enough power and support through social media the court will take it into account and void the contracts.
Do you think the use of hashtags truly gives us power or just the illusion that we have power if we use them?