Should I Use Hashtags on Twitter?

Hashtags are still a popular way to generate engagement and buzz around your brand. However, since they first entered our social media lives, times have progressed and the amount of characters you’re allowed in a tweet has changed, so how exactly should you be using hashtags on Twitter?
What is a Hashtag?

Hashtags are used to highlight a keyword or acronym. According to Twitter, a hashtag categorises a tweet, so people can find it more easily in their search. They advise that a user should use no more than two hashtags per tweet and that spaces and punctuation in a hashtag will not work properly.

Are People Still Searching?

People either love hashtags or they don’t. On Twitter, hashtags bring separate tweets together – they make it easier for a user to find a discussion on the topic they’re interested in. This means your hashtags should always be relevant – either to your brand or the subject you’re talking about in your tweet. National Holidays are a great hashtag to use, even after the day has ended. For example, ‘InternationalWomansDay2018’, was still mentioned in August, despite the day being on the 8th of March. Companies still use hashtags to generate conversations because they make it easier to raise brand awareness and can often increase the amount of engagement on a tweet.

How Can They Help Me?

There are different kinds of hashtags for different things. For example, trending hashtags will be what are being talked about the most on Twitter – you can include them in your tweet and hopefully get some engagement. However, eventually the trending hashtag will die out, and so will the engagement.  On the other hand, hashtags in your content are related to what you’re about to share. For example, if we were sharing this blog, we could include ‘#Twitter’ in our post. These tweets will be more informative and thought out and could be a lot more sales-focused.

Hashtags can also help you find potential ambassadors and influencers for your brand. You just need to let the hashtag grow and flourish as you would your business.

Branded Hashtags

Branded hashtags are good if you want to check in on what your customers are saying about you. For example, if we used the hashtag ‘#AskGiraffeSM’ and urged people to use it for enquires, we could filter down and gather questions and engagement all in one place, so we can respond to any negative comments, queries and praise. By filtering tweets and reviews in this way, we are more in control of our feedback and complaints.

Do not force a hashtag, just because you want to include your brand name. The hashtags on Twitter have to have meaning and be easy to remember – the best are those that create conversation not only between you and your audience, but the users themselves too.

How Should I Use Them?

Research your hashtag before using it to see who and how many other people are using the term – this way you can also keep an eye on your competition. If you’re creating your own hashtag, make sure the spelling is correct and that you’ve explained to your audience what it means. You need to make someone want to include the hashtag in their tweet by informing a user what it means to do so and having a solid reason why they should.

If you need any assistance with your business’s Twitter account or hashtags on Twitter, contact us today.

The post Should I Use Hashtags on Twitter? appeared first on Giraffe Social Media.

What it’s like to take the world’s longest flight

18 hours and 45 minutes from Newark to Singapore.

Singapore Airlines Ltd. just reclaimed the title of flying the world’s longest commercial flight, swiping that honor from Qatar Airways’ route from Doha to Auckland. The 10,400-mile nonstop flight between New York and Singapore ensures that passengers can live out their Crazy Rich Asian fantasies after a mere 18 hours and 45 minutes in the air.

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What it’s like to take the world’s longest flight

18 hours and 45 minutes from Newark to Singapore.

Singapore Airlines Ltd. just reclaimed the title of flying the world’s longest commercial flight, swiping that honor from Qatar Airways’ route from Doha to Auckland. The 10,400-mile nonstop flight between New York and Singapore ensures that passengers can live out their Crazy Rich Asian fantasies after a mere 18 hours and 45 minutes in the air.

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Kyocera’s new business card-sized phone is the thinnest ever

It’s the latest contender in the dumb phone wars–and a sign of the times.

I’m impressed. With its 0.2-inch metal body the size of a credit card and its e-ink display, the new KY-01L is a sight to behold; a black monolith that promises intelligent use of digital resources and a healthy life almost free of distractions. It looks like just what I wanted and yet, I find myself thinking: Is too simple just inadequate?

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Kyocera’s new business card-sized phone is the thinnest ever

It’s the latest contender in the dumb phone wars–and a sign of the times.

I’m impressed. With its 0.2-inch metal body the size of a credit card and its e-ink display, the new KY-01L is a sight to behold; a black monolith that promises intelligent use of digital resources and a healthy life almost free of distractions. It looks like just what I wanted and yet, I find myself thinking: Is too simple just inadequate?

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Voice Ordering for Restaurants: An Emerging Opportunity for Operators

The Next Evolution of Online Ordering Is Here, Is Your Restaurant Ready?

If you are reading this, you may remember a time when cell phones were used to make calls and the only options for home food delivery were pizza or pizza. Fast-forward to today, smartphones have revolutionized the way we communicate with one another as well as restaurants. You can have anything from an iced coffee to a three-course meal delivered to your doorstep, and this is only the beginning. The restaurant industry is poised for disruption as the next wave of online ordering technology—voice ordering—becomes the new standard.

The Rise of Voice Search and Voice Assistants

Google introduced voice search back in 2012, however, adoption of this technology has ramped up in recent years with the introduction of “smart speakers,” like the Amazon Echo and Google Home, and voice assistants, including Alexa and Siri. Today, there are an estimated one billion voice searches every month, and that number keeps growing. In fact, projections show 50% of all searches will be voice based by 2020.

Voice search presents a big opportunity for restaurants to land within consumers’ considerations sets as they explore local results. A recent survey found 80% of respondents use voice search to find restaurants, and about one in four of those people visit the restaurants that come up in searches. Of course, local SEO plays a huge part in landing in those search results, making it an even bigger priority for operators moving into 2019 and beyond.

For tech-savvy consumers, ordering food via voice-activated chatbots may become the standard in the not-so-distant future. Orderscape reports 56% of users would be interested in ordering food from restaurants using voice-activated device, with 34% having already placed an order via a voice assistant.

How Restaurants Are Using Voice Ordering

Major chains, including Domino’s, Denny’s and Starbucks, have already carved their place in the voice ordering revolution. From in-app voice-activated ordering, to complete integration with Alexa, Google Assistant, Cortana and other voice assistants, these restaurants are making it easier than ever for customers to order their favorites. While most voice-activated orders require a guest profile be created before an order can be placed, once registration is complete, a customer’s favorite pizza can be on its way with a quick, “Alexa, order my usual.”

Allowing customers to place orders, receive menu recommendations, apply coupons and pay without the need to touch a screen, these future-forward brands provide guests with a conversational food ordering experience. “Today’s consumer demands convenience, customization, and the ease of ordering through the latest technology,” shares Meghan Strongrich, marketing director at CFL Pizza, LLC. “At Pizza Hut, we believe in serving our customers how they want to be served, no exceptions. Voice ordering offers just another convenient way for consumers to order their favorite pizza in a way that is simple, fast, and reliable.”

Although a few major players have begun offering voice ordering, the technology has yet to see widespread implementation. This is a key opportunity for operators looking to stay at the forefront of innovation to be one of the pioneers of this integration. Fortunately, a multi-billion dollar tech campus is not a requirement to implement these advanced ordering features.

Bringing Voice Ordering Technology to Your Restaurant

As with any emerging technology, making voice ordering available to your restaurant’s customers may require an upfront investment of time and resources. While developing a custom AI application to handle voice, online and mobile orders may be an option for some operators, this would come at a sizable cost. For many operators, leveraging an existing ordering platform may be a more affordable yet equally effective option.

Platforms like Conversable and Orderscape aim to help restaurants make the most of the opportunities presented by voice ordering. These AI-powered services deliver powerful language processing skills and voice-activated chatbots to create a seamless food ordering experience across mobile or smart speaker devices.

A recent partnership between Orderscape and LevelUp, a mobile ordering platform adopted by tens of thousands of restaurants, makes voice ordering integration even more accessible for those already on the LevelUp network.

Key Takeaways for Restaurant Operators

Adopting new technology calls for a complete understanding of its advantages and implications, which can only be reached through in-depth research and exploration. However, that process can lead to information overload.

As you dive deeper into the world of voice ordering, restaurant technology and AI, here is a top-level overview of what you need to know.

  • The growing popularity of voice search is not a passing fad—it’s poised to change the way we interact with search engines, businesses and even restaurants.
  • Still in its early stages of adoption, voice ordering technology has already been implemented by a few major food service chains. However, operators of smaller chains or individual locations still have an opportunity to jump in at the forefront of the next evolution of online ordering.
  • AI-powered third-party platforms are making voice ordering accessible and affordable for operators wanting to implement this technology.

“Businesses only have the potential to grow by capitalizing on the voice ordering revolution and customers benefit from an awesome ordering experience,” shares Carly Laskey, account supervisor and category captain for the restaurants industry at evok. “It’s a win-win.”

Want a full-spectrum look at the current quick-service and fast casual restaurant industries? We’ve covered this and other timely topics in our latest State of the Industry: QSR and Fast Casual report. Download it today for our findings and insights on what’s next in the restaurant industry.

Coming soon: Planters-branded peanut beer


Mr. Peanut is getting into the beer business. Planters peanuts, long paired with beer, are now actually going into a brew as result of a new collaboration between the Kraft Heinz-owned brand and Chicago-area-based craft brewer Noon Whistle Brewing.

The offering, called Mr. IPA-Nut, will only be sold in Illinois. The can features a close up of Mr. Peanut, the longtime Planters mascot.

According to Noon Whistle, Mr. IPA-Nut is brewed with Planters peanuts and Wakatu and Citra hops to deliver a citrus aroma and a hint of honey-roasted peanuts, followed by a slightly salty finish. It’s 6.3 percent alcohol by volume. The average light beer, by contrast, checks in at 4.2 percent.

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This single-room hotel is 400 years old and eight feet wide

Architect Tom Verschueren sees your tiny house and raises you a minuscule hotel.

The boutique hotel game is all about cozy charm and exclusivity–and the latest overnight stay to open in Antwerp, Belgium, fits the bill on both counts to near comic effect. The precious new one-room hotel, designed by Belgian architecture firm dmvA, is a stunning, three-story, 17th-century gabled home with a historic facade that measures less than eight feet wide, and accommodates just one guest bedroom.

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Tuesday Wake-Up Call: Hurricane Willa threatens, Trump rebrands Ted Cruz and the ANA is upon us


Welcome to Ad Age’s Wake-Up Call, our daily roundup of advertising, marketing, media and digital news. You can get an audio version of this briefing on your Alexa device. Search for “Ad Age” under “Skills” in the Alexa app.

What people are talking about today: Hurricane Willa is projected to make landfall this afternoon or evening. The National Hurricane Center is calling it an “extremely dangerous” storm that’s “expected to produce life-threatening storm surge, wind and rainfall over portions of west-central and southwestern Mexico.” We’re keeping an eye on @weatherchannel on Twitter.

Who wants to be a millionaire?: With lottery fever spreading across America, CNN helpfully offers “The do’s and don’ts of office lottery pools,” including “Don’t use cash” (“If possible, pay your pool leader with an electronic account, such as PayPal or Venmo, so you have written confirmation of your payment for a certain lottery”). In other words: Trust no one. Meanwhile, Chipotle, somewhat less helpfully, tweets that the “the Mega Millions jackpot is now at 653,061,224 sides of guac.” Plus a depressing side note from CNBC: “Here’s the tax bite on $1.6 billion Mega Millions and $620 million Powerball jackpots.”

Continue reading at AdAge.com