In a recent post, I discussed the potential value of hashtags in marketing campaigns.
This morning I was delighted (maybe too strong of word) to see the Oregonian coordinating with the Portland Trailblazers and Portland fans to discuss the impending game 6 of a hard fought series with the Houston Rockets.
On the front page of the sports section, there was a box:
Game Chat 6 pm:
Join the fray as our staffers provide updates and analysis throughout the game. Or participate via Twitter using the #Uprise hashtag.
For many in the Portland area, this game is huge, and so I was not surprised to see a lot of chatter regarding the #uprise hashtag:
From an online marketers perspective this is great – tons of interaction that can be readily tracked. The Blazers marketing department can readily identify a number of fans (potential ambassadors) on Twitter, and the Oregonian can identify individuals who are interested in commentary on the team.
But, this just skims the surface of what marketers can do with hashtags.
The Oregonian on oregonlive.com missed an opportunity to integrate the #uprise twitter stream in their content. Oregon Live set up a URL to recap the chat, but the publisher could have enhanced its content by incorporating the Twitter stream:
Sites like Digg, Twitter, & Facebook have been successful (as in finding funding, getting press, attracting eyeballs – not necessarily making money) because they take advantage of user content. Facebook doesn’t make user profiles and Twitter doesn’t tweet. When the Oregonian makes a move to spur user content, the publication should definitely make the extra step to take advantage of it.
For an industry that is struggling, newspapers seem content to dip their toes into social media and seem all too at ease relying on Google and other ad networks for profit scraps rather than developing a profitable advertising strategy.
It is refreshing to see the Oregonian spreading its wings in social media, but the paper is missing out on much of its potential.