Businesses that use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and the other popular social media platforms for marketing are growing accustomed to the value of the hashtag. They can be used to gain visibility for a post, participate in ongoing conversations, or promote a specific event or product. Social media service Chirpify has come up with an even more valuable way for marketers to leverage these platforms to reach customers and increase sales and engagement.
With its new #actiontag service, Chirpify allows businesses to launch cross-channel campaigns. With this new offering, Chirpify is creating one-stop shopping for its clients, allowing customers to buy products, enter contests, or donate to a charity simply by using a designated #actiontag on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
“Today, hashtags are the new URL,” Chirpify CEO Chris Teso said in a press release announcing the new program. “The opportunity is leveraging those hashtags in what we call ‘real-world’ settings with second screen devices. For example, a recent study claims about half of all smartphone and tablet owners use their device while they’re watching TV. Chirpify’s #actiontags connect the dots—in this case between TV ads and mobile devices.”
To get started, a Chirpify member sets up a new campaign and designates an #actiontag to be assigned to that campaign. The first part of the action tag will be something like #buy, #vote, or #enter. The second part designates the specific campaign assigned to that action. A red-carpet movie premier might be titled #RedCarpet2013. Those entering the contest would simply post “I would like to #enter #RedCarpet2013″ to be entered into the contest.
Businesses can also allow customers to buy through direct reply. A business could post, “Two tickets for tonight’s show on sale for $19.99. Post #buy in comments to purchase now.” It’s a great way to use social media to sell goods and services without setting up a store.
There are a couple of caveats to this service. 1) To buy items from you using a mere #actiontag, your customers will be required to set up a Chirpify account if they don’t already have one, and 2) Chirpify will subtract a transaction fee from each payment. Each customer will have to provide payment information to Chirpify in order to begin purchasing.
Major companies using Chirpify include Forever 21, MasterCard, and NPR’s Live Wire. Chirpify has offered businesses the opportunity to sell items through social media since February 2012, but #actiontags take the capabilities to the next level, allowing consumers to couple an action with a campaign hashtag (#buy #NFLTickets) to participate across Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.