Hashtag Politics

by Kim Taylor

Political campaigns have entered an entire new arena with the addition of social media to a candidate’s campaign.  Campaign advertising on television is now heartily supplemented by Facebook pages and Twitter feeds.  And, nowhere is that more apparent than in our own state governor’s race … in particular, in Charlie Crist’s second attempt at winning the seat.

If you’ve seen at least one of Crist’s ads on TV, you might’ve noticed the catchy #ShadyRick hashtag referring, of course, to his opponent and current governor, Rick Scott.  It caught my eye because it’s the first time I recall seeing a hashtag deliberately used as part of a campaign.

And, while hashtags can often be abused and overused, their intentional use can be very effective.  The incorporation of hashtags into other mediums such as Facebook and Instagram make them even more powerful.

Suppose you’re not really into politics or are unfamiliar with a candidate.  A simple search of Crist’s #ShadyRick hashtag will yield pages and pages of reading material.  An added benefit for the candidate is that popular hashtags often become trending topics garnering a topic even more attention.

Of course, as with all social media, results can’t always be predicted and since the use of hashtags is organic and can be used by anyone, you can expect an outlier or two.  I’m almost certain the #ShadyRick pictured below is not our current governor.  Choose your hashtags wisely.

shadyrick

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