Microphone turned off

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg defended his power at his group’s annual general meeting – once again. How long can this go on?

Facebook, as many observers see it, actually suffers from the fact that creator Mark Zuckerberg has too much to say, including his definition of freedom of expression. Yes, that he even acts like a dictator.

Nobody can get past Zuckerberg.

On Wednesday, Mark Zuckerberg must have felt what it was like to suddenly have no voice for the first time in a long time. The Facebook boss had just made a fiery plea for freedom of expression.

At 11:11 am local time in California, – Zuckerberg just explained at the annual general meeting of Facebook, which was held entirely online this time, why his cyber currency Libra is so essential for his company – the conference service provider ended the meeting without further ado. And so abruptly turned the microphone off the Facebook boss and thus the worldwide audience.

Even the most talented satirist couldn’t have done it better. The irony is perfect. The breakdown is a steep step for the growing number of critics of the social network. Because, as many observers see, Facebook suffers from the fact that its creator has too much to say, including its definition of freedom of expression. Yes, that he even acts like a dictator.

It’s not that Zuckerberg doesn’t have a voice. But on the contrary. The Facebook founder and CEO own 81.8 percent of Class B shares, representing around 363 million papers, each giving him ten votes. He outdoes ordinary Class A shareholders who have only one vote and, with 53.1 percent of the votes, is unchallenged on Facebook. He even has a further 4.8 percent buffer thanks to Class B shareholders who have given him his vote.

This year’s Facebook general meeting was, therefore – except the abrupt end – as it has been in recent years. At least for the most part, because there was no riot from the audience and demonstrations in front of the building at the virtual meeting.

All the motions submitted by Facebook were approved, the majority by other shareholders were rejected. NorthStar Asset Management’s proposal to abolish multiple voting rights and thereby give ordinary investors a say? No chance – like in previous years.

Now it is not the case that Zuckerberg invented multiple voting rights. Instead, the fall in Silicon Valley goes back to the founders of Google, Sergey Brin, and Larry Page, who made such a construct popular among the founders of high tech when they listed their company on the stock exchange in August 2004. Brin and Page, in turn, took the suggestion for this from Donald Graham, the longtime publisher of the Washington Post, whose mother Katharine secured the family’s influence when the media company went public in 1971. Don Graham, in turn, was on the Board of Directors of Facebook from 2009 to 2015. And that as – the summit of irony – leading independent members.

Brin and Page also control the Alphabet parent company. But there are still two. Alphabet’s board of directors is also not known to instigate revolts against the founders. But is perceived as more independent from the outside.

On Facebook, at least Jonas Kron of Trillium Asset Management thinks that is not the case. Among his newly confirmed members on Wednesday are such top-class players as Netscape creator Marc Andreessen and Hedgefond billionaire Peter Thiel. You are not exactly known as a yes-man. Drew Houston joined the team in February. The founder of Dropbox is a longtime friend of Zuckerberg.

Facebook is not a democracy

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives to testify before a joint hearing of the US Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill, April 10, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jim WATSON / AFP) / ALTERNATIVE CROP (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Andreessen and Thiel, it is said in Silicon Valley, should often represent opinions other than Zuckerberg. But they cannot do more than advice, let alone control effectively. You are personally close to him. So close that Zuckerberg, even against considerable public criticism, declined to dismiss Thiel from the Board of Directors because of his publicly cultivated support from Donald Trump. That speaks for the loyalty of Zuckerberg. But it should be one of the reasons why Netflix founder Reed Hastings left the Facebook board last year.

“Facebook is not a democracy,” said Zuckerberg at a meeting of his employees. He is right about that. If Facebook were a democracy, every investor would have an equal vote. Depending on its shares, of course, but also on the economic risk.

It’s true: thanks to his power, Zuckerberg can lead his group more effectively, easily fend off hostile takeovers and quickly pull through his own. The fact that Facebook has become so powerful and continues to grow is also because Zuckerberg bought potential competitors such as Instagram and WhatsApp. He was able to negotiate this at the kitchen table in his home in Palo Alto without having to convince his supervisory board for a long time.

Do multiple voting rights damage a group’s economic prosperity? Opinions differ. In the case of Facebook, it can at least be measured by the market value. That has climbed from $ 242 billion to $ 652 billion in the past five years, despite all the scandals and a handpicked board of directors.

But thanks to critical voices, could Facebook have avoided a few wrong steps, and could it be even more valuable? Surely it could have kept some talents.

Even more: May a company that includes WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram, reached around three billion inhabitants of the earth and thus has considerable political and social influence, are led by a, well, dictator, as observers from Zuckerberg describe?

Even Zuckerberg is likely to swan that this will not go well for long. On Wednesday, he referred to the recently launched content supervisory body, which was ridiculed by critics as a “censorship committee.” But can the team of former top politicians, lawyers, and journalists stand up to the CEO? Will he implement recommendations that are not pleasant to him as promised?

Doubts are appropriate. Chris Cox, former Facebook Product Manager, longtime friend and confidant of Zuckerberg, and even a candidate to succeed him as CEO, surprisingly left the group last year. He intervened unsuccessfully against Zuckerberg’s plan to encrypt the content of WhatsApp and Messenger. There are many good arguments for encrypting communication that competitors like Apple also share. But

There are also dark sides, including harrowing ones.

As Michael Passoff made clear during the Facebook general meeting. Proxy Impact’s CEO wants to stop Facebook’s encryption plans. “Facebook is the largest source of child sexual abuse material worldwide,” Pass off claims. Encryption would make it even harder to stop or even notice this flood, he warns. Zuckerberg, himself the father of two children, certainly didn’t make the decision easy. It is a burden. However, which would be spread over several shoulders and more comfortable to carry.

Panic and fear in times of social media

Hardly anyone can get past social media. No matter what age, no matter what origin, who has an internet-enabled smartphone, is usually registered with a social media service.

Terrorist attacks, kidnapping attempts, epidemics or rampages: these are topics that many people are afraid of. At the same time, these are topics that feed on social media. These topics generate interactions, but ultimately also fear and panic.

In this article, let’s take a look at the connection between social media and fears. What role does WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram play here?

What are social media?

In summary: Social media means all platforms on which people exchange information digitally. Be it texts, images, video or audio content; the focus is on digital communication in all directions. Correspondingly, social media is not a one-way communication street, but rather a fairground. You can imagine the classic Greek agora, just digital: people come together and talk, yes argue, they act, exchange things

The function of the participants is just as important because social media means that everyone is an author. So it is a medium in which everyone can participate. The technical and financial hurdle is also essential for this participation: Social media must be accessible quickly and inexpensively (usually free of charge).

Social media and user behaviour

Not all people are on all social media platforms; not all people use the same platforms. Nevertheless, you can make sharp divisions: Young people, in particular, are on more visual platforms such as Instagram or TikTok. Snapchat may also be mentioned in this context, but the messenger has lost importance.

Facebook and Twitter play less of a role in this age group but are quite popular among people between the ages of 30 and 55. However, if you go one age level higher, i.e. people between 50 and 69 years, WhatsApp is a prevalent means of communication.

Changed relations

Anyone who has reached the age of majority in the last century should have grown up with quite a few channels. It was not until the 1980s that private channels were added to the public service channels, both on TV and on the radio.

At that time, journalists were usually gatekeepers. Roughly speaking, this means that it has been checked whether the content is relevant to be sent and whether the content is correct.

At the same time, there was hardly any public reaction to content and information on the part of recipients. Sure, they talked in small groups, but there was rarely general feedback in the form of letters to the editor or reactions to an intendant.

Social media has changed these relationships. All of a sudden, all of the participants have become transmitters. Due to the standard technical equipment and the low hurdles, it is possible to send content at any time. You can write, send pictures or even stream live.

This naturally means that the classic gatekeeper function on social media is no longer available. The participants now decide for themselves what they think is relevant. It can, therefore, happen that information without relevance or even incorrect information appears in the news stream or the news. So on social media, not only the sender and receiver merge, but everyone has to interpret or even learn the gatekeeper function for themselves.

The changed resonance behaviour should also be noted: You can now react directly and (depending on your privacy) publicly to social media. That brings an incredible dynamic.

Messenger & trust

The messengers, in particular, stand out here, where it is difficult to ascertain how many false reports are spread. As described at the beginning, a lot of people use a messenger. Of course, one can argue about whether messengers can be added to social media (gladly also open-ended). At this point, however, they are added because you can operate digital communication via messenger, exchange content, communicate in groups and ultimately also stream. However, they are not as open as Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

Messages via a messenger like WhatsApp always have a more personal touch than more open networks. The senders are known, mostly relatives or friends. So there is already a basis of trust.

This often shows that one tends to believe and to forward content faster since one tends to find the trusted sender.

Interactions count!

As just explained, there is nothing charitable about social media. Almost the opposite: The goal of the platform owners is to bind the users to the platform as long as possible and to get them to interact.

This binding only works if the content does not appear boring to the users—the result: fear, hatred, boobs and the weather forecast.

Ok, the boobs are diligently banished, but everything else is difficult for the operators. Nevertheless, it is no secret that scandals, outrage, even false reports and of course, clickbait out of the boulevard generate interactions and act like a magnet on social media.

The missing gatekeeper function is noticeable here, at the same time the level of attractiveness (in whatever form) is further increased.

Whether provocative postings, border crossings in terms of expression, weak clickbait journalism, or stirring up fears, all of these are widespread phenomena on social media. Messenger included, of course.

False reports, fear, hate

The lack of gatekeepers, high levels of interaction and the longing for entertainment naturally promote topics that also include problems.

The high number of false reports is one thing. The others are fear issues. Alleged kidnappings, illnesses, conspiracy myths, these topics make optimal use of the participative culture on social media.

One should not misunderstand this: These topics also have their place in the offline world. But social media offers functions that an offline world does not provide. Share, forward and re-upload are essential tools in the distribution of highly interactive content.

This means that topics relevant to social media are becoming more widespread. It is often not differentiated whether the content is true or false. For fear of damage, false reports or irrelevant content are distributed accordingly.

The role of the media

The media have long recognized their reach potential on social media. But the ranges do not come by themselves; they have to be optimized. This optimization takes place via headlines and teasers.

This means that if a website publishes online content, it should also be optimized for preview display on social media. We are talking about the so-called snippet or teaser. That means:

Whenever someone inserts a link on WhatsApp, Twitter or Facebook, a bit is created which, in a nutshell, represents the content of the linked website. As the owner of a page, you can design this snippet. So you consciously choose a suitable image and shape the heading so that it appears attractive to readers on social media. So that online content is perceived, media optimize it via the snippet. This inevitably leads to the so-called clickbait.

A clickbait does not have to be negative; it is even necessary for online content to be noticed. However, a clickbait should not be misleading or exaggerated, which is more common, especially in the case of tabloid journalism.

With the help of click baits snippets and misleading headlines, false impressions can be created in the case of superficial user behaviour. The net culture speaks here of “headline readers” who obtain their information only from headlines, which under certain circumstances may give false representations due to the clickbait shortening. If you only consume headlines, you will not correctly record complex images, since explanations are usually more detailed than the snippet function on social media allows.

Political motivations

Parties and political actors have also recognized social media as a platform and are aware of the mechanisms by which they can disseminate their content as virally as possible. One has to differentiate between official postings by parties or politicians and unofficial campaigns, or propaganda.

The latter, in particular works with fear and hatred, to carry out disinformation or manipulation. The build-up of anxiety deliberately disrupts political systems. Enemy images are created, which are represented as scapegoats. Furthermore, with the help of consciously contradictory information, irritations are designed for users of social media.

We are familiar with these phenomena: after assassinations or rampages, various pieces of information that are deliberately wrong are scattered very quickly. It is not necessarily that this false information is believed, but that it competes with serious reporting, which in the end is also questioned. The results are sentences such as “You no longer know who to believe” or “Everyone is somehow lying”. At precisely these moments, misleading, false reports have reached their destination. People are insecure, afraid and think they are in a helpless situation.

Panic in times of social media

Social media is not the reason for this fear or dread. Of course, there were also fears about social media. However, social media, as an interactive communication platform, massively promotes the exchange of information. As already mentioned, the information does not always mean correctness, relevance or detail.

In the past, we have repeatedly observed that fear is an engine for passing on content. One would like to warn other people, to know them safely. So it’s not just fear for yourself, but also others. And here, the tools are now using social media, but also the possibilities on the smartphone to share content beyond the individual platforms directly on other platforms.

The term “virality” gets its very appropriate meaning here. Like a virus, information can be passed on, reproduced and transmitted. And that is precisely what happens with content rich in interaction, which is often based on fear.

This content now reaches much more people in a much shorter time than when offline communication is used, or linear media is consumed. Social media is always at hand and accessible.

Of course, this means that there are no longer wrong messages, but they are merely more present and are shown more often. You simply get the impression that specific topics occur much more often because they are ubiquitous on social media.

Fears appear to be ubiquitous due to their frequent presentation, but at the same time, because of their interactions, they have a greater reach than matter-of-fact content. This clearly shows that emotions are an essential factor. And social media accordingly offers a large participation area for emotions, so fear as a strong emotion plays a significant role.

And let’s take a look at framing at this point: With the help of stimulus words, fears are created, topics are deliberately misinterpreted or presented tendentially. Admittedly, you cannot mount, but you can influence the degree of framing and thus the level of manipulation.

The mixture

In the end, we must not forget that social media is not a homogeneous mixture, but a mash of many different channels. Individuals who publish information themselves. Media that want to generate high-reach content with optimized snippets, political actors who want to use the mechanisms of social media for manipulation.

Social media users can be found in all these impressions. Faced with content that they have to rate as “new gatekeepers”. At the same time, because of their own emotions, they become part of the game. Anyone who is gripped by fear spreads the reasoning content. Thanks to simple mechanisms (just one click) this is not a problem.

The fear multiplication on social media is, therefore, usually just a click. Still, the threshold between justified fears and hysteria is often quickly exceeded due to excessive reporting, manipulative postings or ubiquitous information.

Get a grip on fear

Fear is not wrong if it is appropriate. But that also means that you have to be able to assess whether fear is relevant to the situation. Social media postings from anonymous sources, improper reporting or incorrect observations can give rise to a doubt that in the end was not necessary.

But how do you get factual, sober information? Here the circle closes again because social media wants to bind people and offers “exciting topics” more space than calm content. At this point, users are asked yet. They are encouraged to slow down their information consumption and also to evaluate which content (whether private, from media or unknown sources) is relevant. The goal should be not to be dominated by social media, but to dominate social media.

Facebook is fighting against false reports like never before

In the corona crisis, Facebook shows how well it can deal with fake news. CEO Mark Zuckerberg just has to want it. For him it is now about human life, no longer about freedom of expression.

Particularly the lie with the bleaching agent is Mark Zuckerberg remained in my memory. He knows her from Facebook, his network. The myth is that Corona infected people should drink bleach, more precisely: chlorine dioxide mixed with citric acid. This kills the virus, say confused people like Jordan Sather. And along with the stupid who drinks it, says the American drug agency. For Sather, on the other hand, bleach is an essential ingredient in his “miracle mineral solution.” Three drops a day, and the coronavirus disappears, he says. His many followers are enthusiastic. They thank him for staying steadfast when the media and authorities point out the danger of his recipe.

This is what fake news looks like at its worst. They endanger human lives. “This is hideous,” says Zuckerberg in a telephone connection with selected media. Like millions of others, the Facebook boss is sitting in his home office in California these days so as not to get infected and to be a good role model for his employees. Fake news is nothing new for Zuckerberg. His network is full of it. Ideologists of every streak spread the crudest theories with him. Zuckerberg has often been relaxed in the past when citizens asked him to clear the crap. Not possible because of freedom of expression, Zuckerberg always said. Who should decide what is crap and what is not?

At Corona, Zuckerberg doesn’t say that. Now it’s about human lives; now the crap should go. “Even in a society like the American, where freedom of expression has a special place, there is a precedent that people don’t just fire!” be allowed to call in a room full of people,” says Zuckerberg. “It’s like spreading dangerous misinformation during an epidemic.”

So Facebook is giving away advertising space to the World Health Agency, as many as it wants. The same applies to Instagram, which belongs to Facebook. If the authority says that a message is a nonsense, Facebook will delete it. Just because. “We don’t allow content that creates an immediate danger or risk,” says Zuckerberg. If you search for the coronavirus on Facebook, you are immediately referred to reputable sources. A “corona information center” explains to each user what is right and what is not. Facebook prohibits advertising, promoting the wrong medication against Corona. Protective masks can no longer be advertised on Facebook. All hashtags, including false reports, are blocked on Instagram launched. The freedom to tell nonsense has been abolished. The timelines have been cleaned.

It’s not just Facebook that does this. Other platforms are fighting false reports like never before, for example, Google. Anyone looking for a “coronavirus” will find it difficult to spot fake news. Information from authorities and reputable media is listed page by page. The algorithms do what they have never done before: they suppress nonsense. Something similar happens on YouTube, which belongs to Google. Even those who get lost on “Astro TV,” a hocus-pocus channel where Corona is interpreted according to the stars, will immediately see a link from the Federal Ministry of Health. On Twitter, users see a large logo in their search function: “News about the Covid 19 situation in Germany”. If you click on it, you will find information from the authorities and articles from quality media.

Zuckerberg: “This is a different league.”

Why is it suddenly so easy for Facebook during a virus pandemic, against fake news to proceed? Why has it been so challenging to suppress political lies in the past? “These are different cases,” says Zuckerberg. “We always had the rule that we don’t allow physical . This is the cornerstone of our approach to hate speech and violence. In this pandemic, we experience deceptions that encourage people not to be treated. This is a different league than the back and forth between before an election. There are also trustworthy authorities here that are recognized by people from across society and that uncover false reports and conspiracy theories. It’s a very different dynamic than trying to be a referee in politics,” says Zuckerberg.

A message from this week showed that this separation between health issues and politics is fluid. The European Union registered a Russian fake news campaign on Corona in Germany, Italy, Spain, and France. The European External Action Service wrote it down in a nine-page document available to news agencies. It speaks of a “significant disinformation campaign by Russian state media and Kremlin-related platforms.” “The overarching goal of Kremlin disinformation is to worsen the public health crisis in western countries,” it says. The Foreign Service has had eighty cases since January 22, in which false reports have been launched from Russia. Iranian claims were spread, the virus is an American biological weapon. The Kremlin denied everything.

There are many false positives these days. It is not America who has to blame for anti-Semites, but a Jew. A document is somehow bent. At some point, the fund of George Soros, who came from a Jewish family, had shares in a pharmaceutical company that operates in Wuhan, China, at number 666. That’s enough for the confused. Others refer to the psychological thriller “The Eyes of Darkness,” a book by the American writer Dean Koontz from 1981. He described the outbreak of a Russian biological weapon virus called “Gorki-400”. When the Cold War ended in 1989, the book was rewritten for marketing reasons. Now the virus was called “Wuhan-400”. That is why photos of this book page are being distributed, coupled with quotes from a completely different book, according to which some virus will break out in 2020. Conclusion:

The stupidest conspiracy theory comes from Pegida founder Lutz Bachmann. He says the government is lying if it calls the coronavirus “novel.” His proof: older disinfection bottles say that they work against coronaviruses. Bachmann made a sharp combination: Coronaviruses have been known to humans since the 1960s. Only the Sars-CoV-2 is new.

What #Hashtags really bring!

They have been used in numerous social media networks for years, and there is a lot of hype surrounding them. On Instagram, they are indispensable … just as little as in Twitter. We are talking about: hashtags!

But what about Facebook and other social media like Pinterest and LinkedIn? Are they often used there? And what do I have to pay attention to when using hashtags? What do hashtags bring?

I will answer these questions here in this SwaCash article.

The hashtag

The word “hashtag” is made up of hash – the English word for the classic double-cross “#” and tag – which generally describes a simple marker. That means in a hashtag, you link the following expression with the rhombus.

The benefits of hashtags

The hashtag, therefore, turns the terms you enter into a keyword that others are looking for and can follow permanently in specific networks such as Instagram – just like a company or an influencer. In this way, these users become followers of a hashtag. If your social media post is equipped with hashtags, this can increase the reach of your post, improve interactions and likes and, ideally, generate followers for your profile as well as traffic and sales to your website.

But not every social network is focused on hashtags, which means you can’t search for it. You can find out which are in the article below under “Hashtags in the various platforms.” So you should read on!

The correct use of hashtags

Hashtags with punctuation marks? Not a good idea!

Using hashtags is extremely easy. In front of every word that you find necessary and want to mark as a keyword, you simply put a diamond, and it is highlighted in blue and thus marked. Nevertheless, there are some things to consider when using:

For example, markings are generally interrupted by individual characters and spaces. Accordingly, your hashtag should only consist of letters and numbers. Umlauts like ä, ü, and ö are not a problem.

An example of this would look like this:

V #vegan food: Here, only the word vegan would be linked as a hashtag, and food would be disregarded.

V #veganfood: This is how a hashtag is used correctly! Here both parts of the word are taken into account by the social media network and marked utterly.

Smileys? Possible, but # recommended is something else…

Postponing smiley is possible on Instagram. The only question is how sensible it is and whether an emoji hashtag brings you anything. After all, you want to use the hashtags to bring new and relevant reach to your corresponding posts, right? And how generic is a # ♥ ️ , please? This can include every conceivable type of content such as cat videos, family vacations together, the new beloved car, which was long overdue or the successful, merry Christmas party with colleagues. This has nothing more or in the slightest case with a lot of luck with your business, and then you spend energy on reaching an irrelevant target group.

#Relevance before #reach !?

As I just mentioned, when using hashtags, it is essential to address relevant target people with the right hashtags that fit your company. Of course, we are tempted to get the fast reach through followers and to use generic hashtags like #love, #ootd, or #food, on which the users’ attention is extreme.

However, these ranges are rarely permanent because they bring followers to your posts who are not interested in your topic. They usually notice this relatively quickly and follow you again. So you increased your reach, but there were still no interactions, traffic, or sales. The algorithm of most social media networks also recognizes this.

The consequence of this? Your postings will be downgraded, and they will no longer receive much attention – not even in your relevant target group. You only cut yourself into your meat.

Therefore, when using hashtags – and you should generally always take this to heart – relevance comes before reach!

Still, using one or two general hashtags can be helpful. This can help to generate reach, especially for small accounts. We, therefore, recommend a sophisticated strategy that includes a mix of many hashtags specific to your target group and one or two generic hashtags.

Of course, you can also try to establish a local connection by adding local hashtags to your posts such as #frankfurt or #wiesbaden, and branded hashtags are also useful if you want to develop your brand in the network. Is there a slogan for your brand? You can then mark this or only the brand name as a hashtag.

❗️ Hashtag research is essential to keep up-to-date with hip and appropriate hashtags.

❗️ Use the opportunities that individual networks offer you, such as following specific hashtags on Instagram, to be able to identify trends early.

❗️ Observe the hashtag set of your competitors and integrate possible right hashtags into your posts yourself.

❗️ If you need more inspiration for hashtags, you can also use tools such as Likeometer.

❗️ Update your hashtag set regularly to avoid the appearance of automation. Otherwise, you run the risk of being punished by individual networks.

The number of hashtags?

The number of hashtags is, of course, dependent on the corresponding social media network. While you can use a lot of hashtags (maximum 30 pieces) on Instagram, the number of tags in Twitter is limited due to the character limit of 280 characters.For Instagram, opinions are simply extremely different. During my research, I read articles that recommended 7 to 8 hashtags. Others favored the maximum number of 30 hashtags , and still, others did not make a statement can.

What are the arguments against maximum use of the hashtags?

For some users, the superstition has become established that posts with a maximum number of hashtags could be spam posts, which Instagram could punish by reducing the reach.

So what speaks against minimal use of hashtags?

This is opposed to the view that minimal use does not bring enough reach to the posts to achieve the desired actions.

Of course, the decision again depends on the size of the profile. If ranges already exist, the principle “less is more” can be useful. However, if you are not yet able to access a field, the use of many hashtags may be helpful.

Unfortunately, there is no general solution here. It’s best to test out different recommendations for yourself and see what works best for you. After all, every company is structured differently, has different content formats, has differentiated target groups … In other words, the initial situation is never the same, and therefore this can result in different results!

Hashtags in the different platforms

Every social network has its peculiarities. To use the platform as best as possible for your goals, you should also adapt to them as far as possible. Part of it is deciding whether to use hashtags or not.

Twitter

The hashtag comes from Twitter. This social media platform introduced the hashtag in 2007 and is, therefore, a pioneer. A separate search for hashtags confirms their importance for the network.

Twitter uses hashtags to help structure the fast-moving content on the platform and thus provide the most relevant discussions.

The limit of 280 characters also limits the number of hashtags used. A tweet should never be overloaded with tags and, ideally, only have one or two keywords.

Facebook

In principle, it is possible to equip your posts with hashtags on Facebook – but it is rarely not used. The use of hashtags on Facebook is, therefore, comparatively low. The ability to share Instagram posts on Facebook means that the hashtag number of individual posts increases suddenly. However, users immediately recognize that the original post was created on Instagram and is not native to Facebook. You can’t see all of the hashtags on the platform to a minimal extent. At most, hashtags are used in posts to highlight a catchword visually.

Because the studies on this topic agree: hashtags hurt Facebook posts. Of course, you can also test yourself here and draw your learnings from it. However, you are very likely to get the same result as other advertisers.

Instagram

I certainly don’t need to mention it: Instagram loves hashtags! Instagram supports this through numerous functions such as the hashtag search, where users can search for all kinds of content with hashtags, the possibility to place hashtags in stories, or the number of times you liked posts with a specific hashtag this week Use hashtags.

In particular, placing the hashtag function in the stories should be used. In this placement, you can only add a higher-level hashtag. With the standard text editor, you can add ten more keywords. A little tip: You can hide these additional tags well under a GIF or a sticker if the story otherwise seems overloaded. Your account may then appear in the hashtag story:

Pinterest

Since 2017 there has been an official statement from Pinterest that hashtags are now also permitted on their platform. Here too, the hashtags help the network sort the existing content into subject areas.

Currently, 20 hashtags can be set per pin. However, this is not recommended! Better use two to eight relevant tags and avoid popular keywords so as not to be excluded from Pinterest. So here applies: less is more!

LinkedIn

The same applies to LinkedIn as to Twitter. Here, the installation of hashtags is also possible and also desired. There is also a hashtag search, and followers can customize their newsfeed using hashtags.

However, you should limit your hashtags to a few words, so as not to be declared as spam and punished by the LinkedIn algorithm.

These are the most critical hashtags for you

Of course, every industry has different hashtags that you should focus on: So which hashtags should you use?

Before you start hashtagging, it’s essential to keep an eye on your competition. Which hashtags does your direct competitor use? Here you can undoubtedly learn a few useful tags and apply them yourself.

Also, you should ask yourself what your most relevant keywords in SEO are. You can also use these as hashtags. But always pay attention to the direct relevance to the actual post.

My next tip is definitely: Use the different functions of the platforms. For example, Instagram and Co. will give you help or two to find your right hashtags. On the one hand, you will receive suggestions for tags as soon as you start entering a hashtag. The function also shows you the number of posts that have been posted with the hashtag. This helps you to assess whether it is a generic or a specific hashtag.

On the other hand, you get inspiration on hashtags on LinkedIn that you can follow. Why shouldn’t these tags be relevant for your posting? Otherwise, tools like Likeometer or tagsfinder.com help. If you use a hashtag set, always adapt it to avoid the impression of automation.

Surely you can also come up with hashtags yourself. But with such tags, always pay attention to the range and the benefit that stands for you. With branded hashtags, however, this makes sense, because after all, they are nothing else than deliberate hashtags. Establishing such hashtags is a lengthy process. Such a project is not always successful. An example of an organized campaign hashtag is #Metoo. A great example of a successful hashtag from a global company is Disney.

The #success formula?

Of course, there is no general strategy here that can be used by everyone. Every company has to do hashtag research and develop a plan to generate more followers. The key to success, however, is to combine high-quality content with stimulating advertising materials and suitable hashtags that reflect the contribution and are tailored to your business and your followers. Coupled with high relevance and added value for the target group, each algorithm of the individual social media networks, especially Instagram and Facebook, classify your posts higher. This will get you more attention, and ideally, your most important KPIs will also increase.

Not even Facebook understands Facebook

Platforms like Facebook determine how we see the world. Unfortunately, we have not yet learned how to use social networks sensibly – and even the operators can hardly control them. But there is hope.

Google Plus is dead, and the most obvious comment is: Oh, did that still exist? The death of the former Facebook competition attempt is fully deserved. Nevertheless, this end marks a kind of climax.

Social media are the current state of digital society, the pacesetters of the public, politics, and private life worldwide. It is the right time for an overview of social media in 2020.

The ubiquity of the smartphone is often complained of, but that’s just the hardware, which is often overrated by those who were socialized in the 20th century. What matters is what people do with the smartphone, and that is largely “social”.

Networks fuel change

Mark Zuckerberg announced in 2010, within the next five years will “re-thought every industry on a social media way”. It didn’t quite work out that way, but the assessment wasn’t completely wrong.

Facebook is the most powerful company in the world. Almost everywhere, marketing is shifting towards social media, Facebook is receiving more advertising money than all radio stations in the world put together.

At the same time, the comprehensive social change – from the worldwide authoritarian-right-nationalist backlash to loud protests like #MeToo – is fueled by social media or made possible in the first place.

This development of economic and social power was already foreseeable at the end of the nineties, which is why the development of Google Plus began with unprecedented pressure even for Google. In early 2012, CEO Larry Page said that Google Plus was the “social backbone” of the entire company and that the social network would be integrated into all Google services.

Switching off on the occasion of a long-term data leak discovered in March, therefore, says above all: Even with practically unlimited resources and the highest level of commitment, digital, social networking can hardly be conquered.

Bad news

This is bad news for Google and also for the upcoming digital society. Because with a theoretical Facebook competitor, a corrective could have arisen. Besides, the frequent demand for a “European Facebook” implodes. There is also an enormous start-up disadvantage for commendable initiatives such as the decentralized social platform Solid by WWW inventor Tim Berners-Lee.

The well-known economic network effect means that the users of a network product benefit from the increasing size of a network. That is also why it is very difficult to change a network – or to build a new one. There seems to be a kind of digital constant of nature: social gravitation, a concept of the network thinker Michael Seemann *.

Social gravitation is more than the network effect, on the one hand, there is the property of platforms to form regional monopoly-like market structures and on the other hand the perception of the users themselves: there are not many different providers as in classic markets, but a first and most important instance.

This can be seen most clearly in countries whose populations are only just streaming into social media in large numbers. In Southeast Asia, for example, Facebook is synonymous with the Internet for a great many people. The spread of the smartphone brings billions of people into direct contact with social media structures.

This is a major reason why WhatsApp rumors in India provoke dozens of lynchings, some of the thousands of mobs. Or why even UN investigators assume that fake news on Facebook is partly responsible for the genocide-like riots against the Rohingya in Myanmar. Or why the Filipino President and Aid Trump is pushing for mass murders with the help of Facebook.

A new reality in the mind

No reason for western chauvinism, because the essence of social gravitation is also felt here: Social media create a new reality in the minds of people. And because Facebook is a collectively reinforcing, networked emotional machine, the perception of reality that has arisen is a hyper-emotional one. The feeling of reality is the reality of the 21st century. And it is created “social”.

Social gravitation means: The largest platform has the greatest power to define how entire populations perceive the world – unfortunately without being able to control them precisely. Not even Facebook understood Facebook. Google didn’t understand Facebook and social media as a whole.

You can also see on YouTube how a platform can shape society in a way that is difficult to assess and very problematic, above all through toxic conspiracy theories. Such social media monocultures, the direct consequence of social gravitation, scale and amplify the negative effects on society.

Nobody can reliably estimate what problems this will cause us today, it’s like a car race in the fog. The generation at the moment has warned their children for years not to believe everything they see online. And after the first, intensive contact with social media, a good number of them make exactly this mistake themselves and plunge headfirst into the social media reality.

The constant overdose of world events

In my view, an important reason for the authoritarian backlash is how little society was prepared for the power of social media. On the constant overdose of world events, outrageously emotionalized.

In December 2016, a man described how he had almost become a racist himself by working intensively on the social media content of Alt-Right’s neo-Nazis. Because emotionalization works so well on social media, even if you see through it.

A 2008 study showed that threat and fear can make people “more right”. The emotional machines of social media do not have a corresponding button, but fear, viewed from an evolutionary point of view, saves life-saving over-sensitivity anyway overall media consumption and especially over social one.

This emotionalization is supplemented by the lack of balance in social media. The world is very, very big, so you can inevitably only look at a section. You could spend the entire day reading factually true news about criminal immigrants – simply by hiding the more numerous news about criminal non-immigrants.

Bent human perception does the rest because the entirety of the information available is easily confused with the entirety of all existing information. If I never read about German murderers, there probably aren’t.

A cultural pessimistic trap

The completely undeniable positive effects of social media – the creation of new counter publics for long-suppressed voices is one of many examples – is hardly an argument. Because it is not a question of evaluating good or bad, one could just as well discuss the advantages and disadvantages of electricity.

In toto, this discussion is a culturally pessimistic trap that offers the comforting “before it was better” self-pity as a supposed solution, in which one resignedly resignedly resignedly to the state of the world rather than changed and improved it. This in turn only works with social media and no longer against them.

Therefore, there remains great hope that future generations will use the network more wisely, or that we older people will be willing to learn from the younger ones. Millennials, for example, do not view social media as a monoculture but curiously use several different platforms – which almost automatically reduces the power and abuse of individual companies. After all.

But it takes a long time before this digitally enlightened way of life becomes effective across the board. As of today: Trump elected, Brexit as well, authoritarians on the rise, all with the help of social media. The reality has become social – unfortunately before we were able to develop a sensible use of social media.