Some months ago I wrote about how we (the team at All About Audiences) were encouraging North West arts venues and organisations on Twitter to start using a common hashtag when promoting their family events – #familyfriendlynw.

This is something we have been actively pushing for the last few months to the organisations we work with and the families we communicate with via our public facing Family Friendly brand. As I see it there are benefits for families and the arts sector which I’ve briefly outlined  below:

For arts, heritage and cultural organisations

1) Hashtags make tweets findable amongst the vast swaths of content out in the Twitterverse, by provided a ‘standard’ or ‘common’ term that can be searched for on Twitter. Venues can know that their tweets are being categorised together with other family related content.

2) Twitter is moving quickly… In getting tweets to contain a hashtag they become more searchable, in turn helping to increase the longevity of individual messages. The importance of this can be seen when it has been claimed that the half-life of a tweet is four minutes – meaning that half of the total clicks of a link within a tweet come in the first four minutes of when it is posted on Twitter.

3) In the case of #familyfriendlynw it is an outward display of collaboration between arts organisations across the North West of England. It shows there is an intention and a desire to work together to make it easier for families to know what’s on across the region. We have been using Rowfeeder to monitor the uptake of the hashtag and a key finding from this has been being able to see  the variety and geographical spread of venues using the tag.

For Mums, Dads, Grannies and Granddads etc.

1) It makes it easier for families to find information about Family Friendly events, grouping tweets together into one topic and filtering out other information. Making Twitter easier to navigate for busy owners of little ‘ins that want to find out what’s on.

2) Not only does it help families find suitable events being ‘pushed’ by arts organisations it also enables them to identify events as endorsed by other families – see this example.

3) It enables families to feedback to arts organisations on Family Friendly issues, with their tweets clearly marked up for venues to monitor and react to.

Image c/o The Stutterbabe licensed under Creative Commons.