I call myself an “IT” guy…an “SEO” guy, yet somehow I almost completely missed this..
#Hashtags digitally connect us. When you include a #hashtag in a Twitter post, facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and a few others, the #hashtag serves as a subject matter identifier. Searches can be made using #hashtags to give you results from others who have also used that particular #hashtag in their posts.
As an example, when you do a google search for “red paint”, you get Behr, Sherman-Williams, Home Depot and others that sell red paint.
If you do a #hashtag search on Twitter, instagram, facebook, etc., the results you receive are from the social media accounts of people who have used that particular #hashtag in their post, comment, whatever. So open up your Twitter account, go to “Discover” and search some #hashtags like; #tomhanks, #frozenmargaritas, #rosebowl, and see what happens.
What each of these #hashtag aggregators do is search for a specific #hashtag from several social media services and then feed the posts, comments, pictures and videos onto a webpage dynamically for you to see, often in real time.
So I was hired to produce the live social media feed at the BCS tailgate party at the Rose Bowl on January 6th, 2014. Since I was barely familiar with how cool #hashtags are, I launched my own research campaign on five different companies that aggregate and curate #hashtags.
I had heard about Postano, but didn’t realize there were so many others. My first criteria was the ability to monitor the posts that come in, because we can’t have “Debbie does Dallas” on the screens. Second was presentation. The look of the feed itself has to be classy, cool and engaging. Postano calls the presentation of their feeds “visualizations”.
Third, but extremely important was price. Our approach was that this would be a onetime thing, it’s an amenity, meaning we’re not getting any money for it, so it has to be affordable.
I talked to Postano first. I spoke to Cooper who walked me through a powerpoint presentation. Great guy, great product, the “visualizations” as they call them, are great looking and they have the ability to create multiple visualizations for multiple screens at your event.
However, I don’t need multiple visualizations and they were a bit more expensive then our budget allowed, plus they want you to buy into a year contract and that’s just not for us.
Twubs is a totally free service that gives you the power to moderate. It also pulls #hashtags from the entire internet and posts them on a wall they create for you when you register a #hashtag. I love the totally Free and the control they give you, but I didn’t like the interface (see below).
Next are Tagboard, Rebel Mouse and Tint.
I put these three together because they all offer free options and the opportunity to upgrade for varying levels of functionality and control.
For each, the free option allows you to pull #hashtags from your own social media accounts and they are displayed on a dynamic webpage on their host under a subdomain that is created for you when you sign up.
I’m a WordPress fan and programmer. Rebel Mouse and Tint both have WordPress plugins, which is a major plus for me. They can be used in widgets, posts and pages. So for my purposes, since I wasn’t exactly sure how I would be presenting the live social media feed, having the option to present on a WordPress blog took Tagboard off my list since there was no WordPress option.
The Two Finalists
Similarities exist between Tint and Rebel Mouse, however the clear winner for me was Tint. The presentation from Rebel Mouse is fine, however it’s very commercial and self-promoting. Besides that, it’s a little more expensive then Tint, and I’m always looking for a deal.
I knew immediately when viewing the wall that Tint produced, that it was perfect for what we were trying to accomplish. It fills up the entire screen real estate in a classy, engaging manner and there are no ads.
Additionally, Tint offers special promotions for bloggers. I’m not a whore. I won’t promote something or someone unless I believe in it.
Tint met all my criteria, period.
It really is a cool thing.