#KaplanExperience Hits 10k Mark, Proves Hashtag's Engagement Value

August 9, 2013
kaplanKaplan International recently celebrated a hashtag milestone at its Instagram account. In the past year, students and personnel of the international education service have been sharing photos of their beautiful and memorable experiences with the group through the hashtag #KaplanExperience. Kaplan is one of the top companies offering English language courses for students. The idea started with the creation of the hashtag itself, which allowed different students from all over the globe to post photos of their positive experiences. There have been contributions from over 42 cities worldwide. Kaplan, Inc. is an institution that works internationally and offers professional training, preparation courses for exams and higher education. It is a subsidiary of the Washington Post Company. Online users can see the uploaded photos by looking for the hashtag on Instagram. Kaplan also has an account, @KaplanInternational. According to Robert Pickstone, the social media manager of Kaplan, the objective was to celebrate globally its students' journeys throughout the various programs, not just to exchange thoughts and share ideas with each other, but also to show those who are not yet part of the program what a wonderful experience it is to be with Kaplan. [Note: This is actually a very good marketing strategy.] To date, the hashtag has gained 1,180 tweets and made 833,000 impressions. Pickstone further shared that there are thousands of talented students in various countries that helped complete the task, providing amazing and unique photos on Instagram. The creators wanted to show the emotions involved in capturing these images and how past and current students of Kaplan managed to improve their lives through their time in the institution. Several institutions are using hashtags to create an online community where both previous and present members can interact and share their experiences. It can also serve as an effective form of advertising. Other similar uses of the hashtag as a marketing and engagement tool include recent trends #WhoStoleBartsBar (by @Butterfinger), #BreakingBad (TV show by @SundanceChannel), and #McDMonopoly (by @McDonalds). Observe the user engagement numbers when these hashtags were launched online; thereby proving that online users, indeed, have a lot to say.

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