6 Benefits of Hashtag Campaigning
Updated: Nov 3, 2018
If you read a lot of our posts on social media, you will see quite a few hashtags.
Now, you may have also heard of a type of campaigning called "hashtag campaigning". This is very simply, campaigning using hashtags such as #GlobalGoals #HeForShe #WhatIReallyReallyWant or #ClimateAction.
Over recent years, hashtag campaigning, also known as slacktivism, has sometimes received a little bit of bad publicity.
However, combined with effective political advocacy, here are some of the fantastic benefits of hashtag campaigning.
Sure, a single tweet might not do anything (unless you're Beyoncé - but even she doesn't have twitter). If you are one of 100,000 tweets, and you're hashtag campaigning on behalf of an organisation actively campaigning in the space, your collective voice will have an incredible impact.
Spreading the message
There are still people who don't know about the Goals! You can tell everyone by sending a tweet or a Facebook post along the lines of...
"Do you know what the #GlobalGoals are? Find out at www.globalgoalsaustralia.org"
Engaging a new audience
There are people in the world who genuinely care about some of these causes and GENUINELY don't have time to dedicate to actual campaigning. Hashtag campaigning is a great way for them to still express their opinion and have a voice while ultimately maintaining the commitments to their incredibly busy lifestyle.
Engaging those who previously didn't care
Back when the ice bucket challenge was going around, I was watching some of my younger friends take part. What was really interesting was watching these same friends actually add a quick video message about ALS to the end - friends who normally wouldn't have engaged as issues such as this. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis isn't a disease which sits front and centre of popular media or campaigning usually with only about 0.002% of the population being diagnosed with the disease. It's very easy to begin to engage people in an issues they previously did not care about - or even know about - by asking them to do a fun activity. I will unashamedly admit that although I did not participate in the ice bucket challenge, I only learnt about ASL through this successful social media campaign.
Creating a culture of campaigning
Most teenagers have to abide by rules set by their parents. Studies ultimately come first. Running a large-scale campaign, volunteering or participating in activism activities isn't always possible. A great way to get involved is by hashtag campaigning. We don't want young people to become disengaged in issues because they feel powerless or voiceless. Social media is a great way to keep teenagers engaged and up-to-date with issues. By staying engaged and creating a culture of campaigning, these teenagers will more likely become involved in more concrete and tangible activities once they begin university or their career.
Are you the only one in your group of friends who really cares about climate change? Maybe it's time for some new friends! I'm not saying replace your old ones - but what about using hashtags to search for people near you who are also passionate about a topic? Maybe you could even look at joining a group on social media about your specific cause. You might fine more people to connect with and have those conversations that you are SO passionate about but your friends find so boring.
Remember; hashtag campaigning doesn't replace the amount of hours people volunteer, donate or commit to tangible actions. It purely supplements the work of these people. And why not shed light on the amazing work people are doing towards the goals?
If you are a hashtag campaigner, don't stop what you're doing! But if you are interested in becoming more involved, contact us to see how!