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Hashtag Aggregator Promotes Marathon Throughout the Year

Generali Cologne Marathon Uses a Hashtag Aggregator on Its Website to Motivate Participants

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hashtag aggregator at Cologne marathon featured image showing marathon runners

The Generali Cologne Marathon (Köln Marathon) is an annual marathon held in Cologne. With over 25,000 participants each year, they have been planning and organising one of the largest mass sports events in Germany since 1997. 

Besides the main event, the Generali Cologne Marathon also organises Germany’s second-largest half marathon with 15,000 participants and a relay marathon. The Generali Cologne Marathon is a marathon for everybody. No matter whether you are a top athlete, ambitious recreational athlete, or a pleasure runner, you will be welcome.

Sebasian Becker

Sebasian Becker

Communications and Social Media Manager, Generali Cologne Marathon

Running is very emotional. This is why we have been using Walls.io social walls for years: It is easy to make runners also spread their experiences from races and training sessions in social media and share these moments with others. This integration of UGC creates a closer connection of the runners to us and our race.

Social Wall aggregates hashtag posts

The Generali Cologne Marathon designed a hashtag campaign for the event that runs throughout the year. The idea behind it is that people love running and do it regularly, not just once a year at a marathon. They train all year long.

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The Generali Cologne Marathon recognises that and allows participants to share their training experiences and wins on social media every day, using specific hashtags. By doing so, they motivate visitors of their website to sign up for the next marathon as well.   

Screenshot of the Cologne Marathon website with the social wall embedded. Next to social media posts, the social wall also shows an image of the Walls.io mascot promoting the feature that allows people to post to a social wall using Facebook Messenger.

Aggregating multiple hashtags on a social wall

The Generali Cologne Marathon is doing a great job by aggregating multiple hashtags from different social media networks. This way, they can make sure they capture every single user-generated content that is published, no matter which network. 

They don’t restrict themselves or their audience to specific networks but give them the freedom of choice, aggregating hashtags from Twitter, Instagram and Vimeo. Unfortunately, Facebook doesn’t allow aggregating hashtags, but the Cologne Marathon solved this by using the Walls.io Facebook Messenger integration

 The head of Walls.io mascot robot Walter, smiling, is shown with the Facebook Messenger logo. Underneath, it reads “@TalkToWalter https://m.me/TalkToWalter”

All posts are displayed on a social wall that’s embedded on the Cologne Marathon website and in the Cologne Marathon app. They further augment the social wall with news fetched from the Cologne Marathon RSS feed.

Screenshot of the Walls.io Dashboard showing the large number of channels and hashtags the Cologne Marathon uses for the social wall.

Promoting and explaining the hashtag aggregator 

The organisers of the Generali Cologne Marathon promote their hashtag aggregator across the website. They create as much buzz around it as possible, so people participate. In the end, a great hashtag is worth nothing if people don’t know about it and use it. With the hashtag and social wall displayed prominently on the homepage, everybody who visits the websites immediately sees it.

Screenshot of the Cologne Marathon home page, displaying a view of Cologne in the header, various facts underneath it, and the social wall embedded at the bottom under the heading “The most beautiful marathon moments on our exclusive social wall.”

They also have a permanently visible sidebar that links to all their social media accounts and the hashtag aggregator. By using the hash sign they already reference the hashtag campaign. Adding a hashtag aggregator link in the social network list is a great way to make people curious and get them to click through to the social wall.

Screenshot from the Cologne Marathon website showing information about the marathon route in a graph. On the left hand side, a social bar in red shows links to various social media accounts as well as a hashtag sign. A yellow arrow is drawn over the screenshot, pointing at the hashtag.

The CTAs promoting the social wall are peppered throughout the Cologne Marathon website. They added one, for example, on the page that explains the marathon route. The CTAs are not only an invitation to check out the hashtag aggregator but also explain in a visual way how it works and how people can participate. 

Screenshot of the Cologne Marathon website header which is a promotion for the social media wall. On the left, see the top third of a smartphone screen showing the photo of a runner with arms spread. On the right, we see a small representation of the social wall. The headline is “The most beautiful marathon moments on our exclusive social wall” and a red banner reads “To the social wall”

By aggregating and promoting their hashtags, the Generali Cologne Marathon is motivating participants to keep on training throughout the year. In addition, they’re reusing the unique user-generated content they are collecting as promotional content to get people to sign up for the marathon.