by Cristina D’Alessandro, Cosmo Music
Thanks to Helen Todd’s excellent talk on social media at the 2017 RPMDA convention, we are now all aware of what a hashtag is. What might not be as clear, though, is how exactly they work and how they can be used to strengthen our industry.
The hashtag is one of the most popular ways to categorize content on social media. It makes it very easy for social media users to search, browse and discover content based on a common theme – like Print Music!
Each of our brands, either as a publisher or a retailer, may already be using brand specific hashtags in our social media posts. This is a great way to engage consumers with our specific brand; however, our goal as an industry should be to commit to using the same hashtags so that all of our posts will start trending together.
Keep in mind, anyone can hashtag ANYTHING that they want. This means that many people can be hashtagging the same topic, but when they use different terms, it isn’t as effective. Here’s a perfect example. During the 2017 RPMDA convention, #sheetmusic had 95,000 tags, #musicbooks had 4,643 #pianobook had 1,586 and #printmusic had 423 tags on Instagram alone. It’s clear that #sheetmusic is the more viable option to use. If the other approximately 6,500 posts had used #sheetmusic, they might have gained more traction due to the higher popularity of the hashtag.
From a recent poll on the RPMDA facebook page, we learned #sheetmusic is an excellent example of an industry hashtag. These posts are already popular on social media platforms and come from a mixture of publishers, retailers, and most importantly, our customers!
But if a consumer clicked on #sheetmusic to see what other people are posting with this hashtag, they would primarily see people just like them, taking a picture of their bookshelf full of music, or a picture of themselves at a piano with their sheet music in the background. Now, imagine if we, as the leaders of our industry, were posting regularly with #sheetmusic. Our consumers could organically make their way to our pages and learn even more about not only general #sheetmusic, but our specific brand/store/publisher.
We hope to keep this conversation going throughout the year by hearing from as many RPMDA members and industry figures as possible. We want opinions, insights and suggestions about how the industry as a whole can work together to bring excitement, interest, and at the end of the day, dollars to our brands.