Hashtags and Ham Sandwich Marketing

Bad wedding marketing strategy

ham sandwich marketingAs I was reading every possible book and resource on blogging, I came across the great title: No One Cares What You Had For Your Lunch: 100 Ideas for your blog. It turned out to be one of the most important marketing lessons, about blogging, micro-blogging (Twitter), social networking (Facebook), and business networking (LinkedIn).

Now, we add the posting of nonsense hashtags to Twitter and Facebook to a long list of pointless activities. And not just nonsense hashtags, but many, on a single post. Don’t think it looks hip or smart, momentarily, but there is no upside impact, particularly on Facebook. In fact, the reverse is true.

Each HASHTAG should have a purpose…

The essence: In all forms of advertising, marketing, social media, and networking you are vying for people’s attention within brief and/or limited time constraints. It is important for your words and images be pithy, crisp, motivational, interesting, and memorable.

To rambling about topics which don’t pass the ‘Who cares?’ test is not just a waste of a reader’s time, it increases the likelihood they will tune you out in the future.

Facebook offers many options for people to lessen your presence, including demoting you to acquaintance status or turning off the appearance of your updates in their news feed. So, with those choices (and others), to unfriend or block someone and likely offend them; you can simply silence them.

Just what is Ham Sandwich Marketing? It is my buzzword phrase, inspired by the aforementioned book. It is my notation of meaningless posts and status updates that are useless and annoying to everybody but the person who initiated them.

Example: “Just had lunch at Wolfgang Puck with Susie, Johnny, and Big Al.”

My response (Either mentally or actually, by Direct Tweet, Direct Message or Public Facebook Wall Post): “Did you have a ham sandwich?”

ham sandwichIt’s my not-so-subtle sarcastic way of nudging the poster or blogger with the subtext: “I read your item. Am I supposed to know who Susie, Johnny and Al are? Am I supposed be impressed you lunched at Wolfgang Puck. Why don’t just tell me you had a ham sandwich. That would be equally unimpressive and unnecessary?”

If you’re lunch was outstanding, take a picture of the ham sandwich. post about the freshly made Dijon mustard, the soft fresh-baked roll, and what variety of ham was involved. Then there is possibility of being entertaining. Otherwise, you’re just engaging in Ham Sandwich Marketing.

In today’s fast and furious world of communications, being boring is a big crime. Being irrelevant is a felony offense.

Don’t waste people’s time. Be interesting or be gone!

Andy Ebon - wedding marketing expert

Andy Ebon
The Wedding Marketing Authority
The Wedding Marketing Blog

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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13 thoughts on “Hashtags and Ham Sandwich Marketing

  1. I totally agree with you Andy!! The “ham sandwich” rates up there with “I’m mowing the lawn at the XYZ office; honk as you go by.” Hello…so many things wrong with that post. Thanks for sharing Andy!!

  2. Thanks June…

    Maybe I short collect a batch of innocuous posts and Tweets, and organize them for DO NOT SOUND LIKE THIS blog post.

    Perhaps if I hold the mirror up for folks, they will see themselves and think about their next communication. 🙂

    Andy

  3. I’m guilty.

    More on Facebook then on Twitter now (hopefully). I write about useless stuff on FB sometimes because my personal friends and family are on it who actually want to read about all that stuff.

    I forget that it is not Myspace where I actually DO have industry friends in my network.

    I would love to see a blog post with a collection though. 🙂

    Juliet

  4. Pingback: Do you Tweet or post Facebook status updates? READ THIS. » NACE Hawaii chapter News/Blog
  5. I’ll have the Corned Beef on Rye!

    But seriously, great topical post, Andy. We all need to be interesting and engaging with our social network posts or it just contributes to the “white noise” of the internet.

    John

  6. Great post – Thank you.

    Microblogging can really bring this out in people. You just have to decide who you want to follow and if you really care. There are definitely a lot of micro-journals out there recording everything from ‘good morning’ to ‘sushi tonight’.

    I want to follow micro-commenters, not micro-autobiographers.

    Sigmund

  7. For some, posting that you just had lunch with Susie (from Sue’s Photography), Johnny (from Johnny’s Videography), and Big Al (from Big Al’s Limo) — well now I’ve just pushed three vendors that my company is associated with.

    As for Wolfgang Puck, that might not be the best restaurant to showcase. However, if I were having lunch at the Capital Club, which is known as an excellent wedding venue, I can see value in placing it in there.

    So while I agree, the way you have presented the scenario is useless, but posting the finer details would certainly benefit prospective clients that might be following you (as a Fan on Facebook, in a blog, or on Twitter). This could even benefit others that are looking to connect on a B2B level.

    Jason

  8. I think a How Not To Tweet post is a great idea! You could have a whole other site for it like damnyouautocorrect.com … damnyoubadtweeter : ) Thanks for sharing!

  9. Well call me PORKY PIG! As you know I’m the DIVA of the Ham sandwich posts and not afraid to admit it but you are 1000% correct. I find posts more interesting and I try to be more interesting by adding just that something different to it. I’ve had many people comment on Blueberry Hill and ask about the pancakes when I expand upon the check in there. So if your having cocktails with your clique at the Blue Martini tell us about the drink not that you’re hanging out with the ‘cool kids’ too!

  10. While I agree with you on the “ham sandwich” Andy, I have to disagree with your thoughts on the use of #Hashtags. With the newer graph search features on Facebook that give you more ways to index the information you choose to view on Facebook you need to use many methods of getting your posts into the news feeds of those that follow you but more importantly to get it in front of those that are not yet following you. Using #Hashtags to index your posts by topic, industry or geographic location may not be the “prettiest” post however, if the content and/or image is memorable and it conveys your message to a wider audience then the #Hashtag did it’s job in indexing the content organically to a relevant and wider audience.