The Most Creative TV Hashtags

Jun 11, 2014

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TV hashtags

Networks have gotten good at taking advantage of the growing population of “second-screeners” by using unique hashtags. Now it’s pretty commonplace to see a hashtag in the corner of your screen during almost all television programming. There are some shows, though, that take TV hashtags to the next level.

Live Events

Awards shows, The Super Bowl, and other live TV events consistently rake in the most online participation. I mean, we all remember the famous Ellen DeGeneres Oscars #selfie that (temporarily) broke Twitter, don’t we? And last week, The Scripps National Spelling Bee had the highest Nielson Twitter TV Rating. These types of live programs probably have the most hashtag participation because they have the most live viewers. Series, however, are much more likely to be DVR’d or streamed later which results in much less online engagement.

The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon

In addition to his #LNJF hashtag, Fallon has dedicated an entire segment on his talk show to hashtags. Fallon asks fans to tweet about a specific hashtag, and then he reads his favorites on air. And of course-it’s hilarious. If you want to see a good one, “#MisheardLyrics” is definitely worth a watch.


‘Glee’ tends to engage its viewers by using multiple different TV hashtags throughout one episode. Fox even keeps viewers participating during commercial breaks by displaying a teaser hashtag between ads. In an episode that aired in 2012, three hashtags appeared throughout: #SaturdaynightGLEEver, #DiscoInferno, and #boogieshoes. Each of these only appeared on the screen for about 20 seconds each, but each generated quite a buzz on Twitter.

The Voice

NBC’s hit singing competition, ‘The Voice’, consistently ignites a ton of Twitter conversation during airings. ‘The Voice’ uses it’s celebrity judges to help engage Twitter users and even involve fans in the outcome of the show. Fans can tweet “#VoiceSave” during the live elimination episodes to save a favorite contestant. Fans are also encouraged to tweet about their favorite teams by using “#TeamAdam” or “#TeamCeeLo”. Many times, ‘The Voice’ celebrity judges will be actively tweeting to each other and fans during commercial breaks. Viewers love joining in on the judges’ catfights. Once, Blake Shelton even tweeted Adam Levine’s phone number during a live show, and of course, fans went crazy on Twitter. Later, NBC revealed that it was actually a rehearsed stunt. NBC has also arranged other Twitter stunts during live shows, like when the pair switched Twitter accounts for a night. Combined, Blake Shelton and Adam Levine have over 10 million followers. NBC knows how to use that to their advantage.

These programs show a few of the different ways to engage viewers during TV programming. I’m sure we’ll see these methods evolve and expand, though. Social media integration has become vital to the success of a show, and I wouldn’t expect to see those hashtags at the bottom of your television screens disappearing any time soon.

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  • Andrew Ryback Reply
    2018-03-07 21:55:41

    We're glad you found this to be useful, Margaux. Let us know if there's anything we can help with.

  • Margaux Ford Reply
    2018-03-07 05:57:06

    I appreciate the tips on hiring a production staffing company to have more time to focus on the creative aspects of the project. Hiring a production crew is a tedious task, and can take up much of your time. We're currently working on a huge production, and I'll share this article with my boss so he'll consider on delegating the recruitment to a staffing company. I like that you mentioned that staffing company can ensure to have the right team onboard for the project. Thanks!

  • Robert McWilliams Reply
    2017-10-31 19:05:18

    Todd:I have an ad agency in addition to our production company. We put one of our clients on OTT two months ago up in Nevada. Seems to be working!Thanks again for the work earlier this month.Rob

  • Nicole Rohde Reply
    2017-05-27 22:28:45

    Hey Andrew, Any word as to whether or not the Jokers will be back for Comic Con this year? Please let me know. Thanks!!!

  • Aaron Estabrook Reply
    2017-02-23 16:26:57

    I'll be tuning in for sure!

  • David Patton Reply
    2015-01-16 13:16:02

    Interesting blog post Andrew. For those who are nearly ready to cut the cord, but still want access to key channels such as ESPN, I'd recommend checking out Dish Network's new service, Sling TV. It provides access to a handful of channels for $20/month.https://gigaom.com/2015/01/15/sling-tv-details-price-devices-networks-resolution-bandwidth/

  • Andrew Ryback Reply
    2015-01-13 14:44:19

    Go for it! I'll admit that I was a little apprehensive about pulling the plug at first, but honestly, the transition away from DirecTV has been seamless. The only missing link is live sports, but there are a few work arounds depending on what sports you watch. Good luck!

  • Gregory Hart Reply
    2015-01-13 06:35:00

    While I am part of the 55 year old demographic that still has TV boxes and does TV viewing, I do my viewing using DVRs and networked PCs playing video files from an in-home server. I too have noticed that I view a handful of shows on a regular basis and have found various other sources for these shows. And now it has gotten to the point to where I am seriously considering ending my very long relationship with DirecTV and going streaming. Working in the TV industry also helped to open eyes to this as well. This transition from "old" TV is coming and the networks (Les Moonves, I am looking at you!) had better plan for it.

  • Gary Reply
    2013-08-08 09:44:39

    You've left out a HUGE part of this story by not mentioning Howard Stern's effect on the Sharknado buzz! #siris-ly

  • Marybeth Harrison Reply
    2013-08-07 14:46:29

    I can almost hear the theme song from Jaws as I read your post!