#SolarThermal: Increasing Visibility through Harmonised Hashtags

HashtagsThe solar heating and cooling (SHC) sector needs to increase visibility on social media channels. This was the shared belief of the three major SHC institutions – the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF), the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme (IEA SHC) and solarthermalworld.org – which met at the beginning of 2016 to discuss relevant strategies. The group saw Twitter as an important communication channel among policy makers, lobbyists and industry associations – a tool which is also used by a growing number of journalists worldwide for their research. The institutions decided to campaign for harmonised hashtags regarding content related to solar heating and cooling on Twitter, in order to increase visibility and improve the search functionality. 
 
The group identified #SolarThermal as the most well-known and most used hashtag for solar heating content on Twitter, before #SolarWaterHeating, #SHC or #SolarHeating. ESTIF, IEA SHC and solarthermalworld.org agreed to use #SolarThermal as the general hashtag on their Twitter channels – with the tag written in camel case, featuring a capital S and a capital T. The capital letters for each individual word improve the readability, but have no effect on searching or finding content. 
 
The group also decided on contacting large renewable Twitter channels, such as the ones of REN21, the International Renewable Energy Association (IRENA), Sun & Wind Energy and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) to convince them of the benefits of using #SolarThermal in their SHC-related tweets.
 
It would certainly make sense to use more specific application-based hashtags too. A fairly established one on Twitter is #SolarCooling. But there has been very little content yet regarding either #SolarDistrictHeating or #SolarProcessHeat. The group of institutions is convinced that it could mean further momentum if more companies, research institutions, expert networks or associations were to use these technology-specific hashtags. 
 
How to contact the members of the group:
Riccardo Battisti; riccardo.battisti(@)gmail.com; https://twitter.com/solarthermal
Pamela Murphy; secretariat(@)iea-shc.org; https://twitter.com/ieashc 
Stefano Lambertucci; Stefano.lambertucci(@)estif.org; https://twitter.com/estif_solar
Uwe Trenkner; uwe(@)trenknerconsulting.com; https://twitter.com/utrenkner
 
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