The Social Business News Wrap | Volume 35: Facebook Hashtags & Ford Motors

Facebook’s Clickable #Hashtags Facebook Hashtags

It was announced Wednesday on Facebook Newsroom that they have begun rolling out clickable hashtags in an effort to bring public conversations to the forefront. There have been rumors and rumblings for months that Facebook was going to introduce hashtags, and some people have always used them…some recently started in hopes that the rumors were true.

What does this mean to your Facebook usage? Basically, public conversations on any popular topic will be easier to find. This new aspect of Facebook will do a number of things:

1. If you want to start a fight on social media, it will now be super easy to do so (as if it weren’t easy enough already) because you can search for a hashtag, and your hashtags will be clickable.

2. Marketers will be able to hashtag products, coupons, specials, etc, and fans will be able to find them more easily.

3. You can also click the hashtags that originate on other services such as Twitter, Tumblr or Instagram.

4. You’ll be able to create posts right in the feed and search results.

The blog on Laptop Magazine has a great little tutorial on how to use hashtags on  Facebook if you aren’t familiar with them. Newsmax reports that Social TV will be impacted by this move:

Between 88 and 100 million Americans log in to Facebook every night during  prime time TV hours, which represents a significant opportunity for broadcasters, advertisers and our other partners,”  Justin Osofsky, director, platform partnerships and operations at Facebook, said  in a blog post on Wednesday. A recent episode of the Game of Thrones series on  HBO generated 1.5 million mentions on Facebook, he said.

As social TV becomes ever more prevalent, hashtags on the most popular shows will start to be an every day thing on Facebook, and will probably lead to targeted ads from advertisers on both mediums.

Creating Social Business Success – ala Ford

We’ve been talking about how social business means more than just creating a Facebook page for your company and Tweeting out specials. It means using social media to provide the best in customer service.

The Ford Company recognized the dire state that all the American car companies were in during the financial crisis, and decided to do something to help them get a real read on what customers wanted. So, they launched a social media campaign where they found the folks that were really interested in their products, what new products would be released the next year, and so on. They began getting feedback from these very interested parties a year ahead of planned release dates. For example, the Fiesta was born due to scaling their product line according to what the public was telling them what they wanted through social media.

One of the ways they did this was to ask popular bloggers such as Columbus’ Alaina Shearer, to drive a Fiesta and blog about her experiences with the car prior to the release date. This gave a lot of valuable feedback to Ford, allowing them to tweak the product before it hit dealerships. This was happening way back in 2009, making Ford really way ahead of the curve when it came to anticipating what was happening in social media and how they could use it to leverage their business.

This week Social Business News profiles Ford’s successful use of Social Business strategies to not only promote their brand and products, but to find out what people need and want in their transportation, before they even design the product. Business owners and marketing folks are going to find this information useful, but product developers will need to be aware of the possibilities that are lurking within social to help them develop better, more accurate, more targeted products. I think we are looking at a time when superfluous products are going to be a thing of the past. While we have had market research for decades, social is providing instant, real time market research in a way that has never been available before, from a much larger segment of the population. This information is so vital, companies can no longer afford to not be in the social media realm, whether they want to be or not.

How is your company leveraging social media? What steps are you taking to realize the full potential social holds for your business?

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