Like Twitter, popular phrases and topics are tagged with hashtags. Unlike Twitter, however, on Weibo, hashtags are preceded and followed by “#,” like #this#. Hashtags make it easy to follow a conversation stream and monitor the buzz around a topic.
Not only is it a good idea to include hashtags you’ve created for events and campaigns on your brand posts, but also to “own” popular hashtags.
When you click a hashtag, like #YNWA#, which stands for “You’ll never walk alone,” Liverpool FC’s motto, it takes you to the hashtag page.
On the top, you can join the discussion, follow the discussion, or forward the hashtag. Underneath that on the left, you’ll see numbers representing the number of reach, comments, and followers of that hashtag. Underneath that you’ll see the host of the page. In this case, the owner, Liverpool FC, makes sense, but technically, any brand can apply to be the owner of a hashtag. It’s a great opportunity for brands to host trending topics for exposure. Not only is your brand listed at the top, but also linked directly to your account, with even a button to follow your brand right there on the hashtag page. For example, gaming company and official Arsenal partner Bodog is the host of the pre-season international championship hashtag. Any person who clicks on the hashtag “international champions cup” is led to this page, where they will see the discussion and Bodog.
The process is fairly easy and free: all you have to do is search for a hashtag that you want and check out the page. If there is no host, click the button to host. For example, this hashtag, #COYG#, “come on you gunners,” a cheer for Arsenal FC, has no owner, but a reach of almost 2.5 million- a perfect opportunity for the club to interact and engage with their fans.
Mostly brands and key opinion leaders own hashtags as you have to be fairly active to maintain your status as a host- Owners have to use the hashtag 3-5 times a week or will be kicked off as host. When you apply to be a host, you’ll receive a private message from Sina that will let you know how often you must post.
Sometimes a random brand or person will have taken the host position of a page- for example. You can contact the person or brand account, but since there’s no way of passing the ownership, the only way to ensure ownership is to contact Sina directly.
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