The rise of the off-season hashtag

We’re in the first week after the international period ended, and the wait for the return of rugby league is almost as painful as the hashtags in use by clubs this off-season.

Whether it to be announce new signings, new shirts or push season ticket sales, a growing number of clubs are jumping on the bandwagon of nondescript, virtually useless hashtags in the name of fan engagement and growth.

Perhaps most telling is that some of the biggest clubs, like Leeds and Wigan, don’t bother, while the more successful ones are club specific and run throughout the year – such as #RunwiththePack.

We’ve had a closer look at some stand outs, both good and bad, that we’ve seen so far.

#TogetherAsOne – Featherstone

Featherstone’s effort is the painfully generic “TogetherAsOne”, and a quick search of that hashtag exposes you to World of Warcraft, some normal people talking about family, climate change and the West Midlands LGBT community.

#TogetherStronger – Salford

Another generic one comes from Salford, though they do have a bit more traction on theirs than some of the others. They’re still sharing it with the Wales national team and bizarrely, Belgians in Ireland.

#RiseAgain – Widnes

Relegated Widnes are trying their best to mobilise their disgruntled fanbase, and you can find their content amongst a world of stuff on Twitter – ranging from Cougar Volleyball, Christmas lists and junior hockey.

#WeAreLondon – London Broncos

At least this one has a bit of relevance. Their main competitor on that hashtag is the London Lions basketball team.

#TOgether – Toulouse Olympique

Appreciate the attempts to be clever on this hashtag, but Twitter doesn’t consider the case of a letter and as such, this hashtag is completely redundant and lost amongst every other mention of “together” hashtag, of which there are hundreds of thousands.

#EaglesTogether – Sheffield Eagles

This isn’t a bad effort by the Eagles, and they are the only subject really featuring on this hashtag. Decent work.

#OurTown – Workington

Who’s town? Your town? This hashtag could literally be relevant to every town-based sports club in the world.

#TogetherWeCan – Rochdale Hornets

They’ve not used it many times, but blimey, this hashtag has a wide spread usage. You can find stuff out about giving opportunities to disabled children, ending HIV infections, protecting animals and volunteering. Not sure any of those will get more fans through the turnstiles at Spotland, sorry Crown Oil Arena.

#REDARMY – Hull KR

Not the worst, but still a bit generic for our liking. Though nowhere near as cheesy as some of their counterparts. For what it’s worth, Hull KR’s digital efforts both on social media and their website, as well as their fan engagement, is up there with any club in rugby league.

#IAMASKOLAR – London Skolars

No nonsense from the Skolars, and a hashtag they use consistently throughout the year. They definitely have sole ownership of this hashtag, though I’m sure they’d like more fans to use it.

#AllForTheWire – Warrington Wolves

One of the best examples of a club hashtag – relevant, unique and useful when searching for social content. Nice new kit too.

#ForTheNext – Coventry Bears

Coventry are the shining light for expansion and trying to do it properly and organically – but what on earth does “for the next” mean?! We love their new promo video, but they’re missing a trick not having a club specific hashtag. While there isn’t an awful lot of competition on that hashtag, it used by the Texas Storm Chasers, which sadly isn’t an expansion rugby league side in the States.

We know what you’re thinking – bring on the season.