Hashtago rewards users for engaging with branded hashtags

hashtago-logoIn recent years, hashtags have become ubiquitous as services like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, and others have turned to them as a means for organizing posts. Advertisers, too, have attempted to attract customers by created sponsored hashtags on Twitter, inserting them into various TV shows, and so on. There are already services that offer companies the ability to create marketing campaigns and provide analytics on user-engagement, but Ukrainian Hashtago wants to take the concept a step further by helping brands to reward users.

At the moment, Hashtago is exploring a few different development routes. The first service would allow businesses to attract visitors to branded-hashtags by offering some sort of reward for doing so. Having racked-up enough points by engaging with the brand, the user could then convert them in exchange for gifts. The second service would allow companies to set-up embedded feeds and it creates a link to stream of user-generated content, brand-created content, and contextual ads. Finally, they intend to offer administrators of Twitter and Facebook communities access to data on user-engagement, such as information about popular hashtags, usage frequency, related hashtags, etc.

This market is fairly saturated and there is no shortage of competitors. For automated-marketing solutions, one of the top rivals is Chirpify, while competitors among services offering real-time analytics include Hashtagify.me, Poptip, and Keyhole. For social hubs and services allowing users to embed feeds, the main rivals are Tagboard, Tint, Livefyre, and Mass Relevance.

Artem Pochepetsky, project manager at Hashtago, tells me that their service is a combination of tools to automate social-media marketing (SMM) campaigns and obtaining analytics on user response. They provide data user-generated content like their competitors, but say that they also provide tools to help brands amplify their branded hashtags and to create connections between hashtags and lifestyle content. At the moment, it is not easy to say which service will represent the most direct rival for Hashtago because they are still determining the direction in which the company will develop.

Hashtago remains in beta, but they report 6 businesses as clients and have preliminary agreements with 12 others. At the moment, they have 10K landing visitors and 1,500 logins to their service. Pricing varies based on the size of the project, but Pochepetsky says that they are working on a pricing model. Advances will likely cost $200 per month and exclusive features may start from $1,000.

Pochepetsky tells me that they have recently been accepted into the GSFacceleration and hope to use that experience to take their service global. Thus far, the team has obtained $200K in funding from Russia-based Imperious Group and $30K in the form of a grant from GTF Fund, which was created by Russian funds Runa Capital and Almaz Capital, Ukrainian fund TA Venture , and innovation park Bionic Hill. They intend to raise a new round this year.

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