The Sun aims to boost social footprint with daily #hashtag stories

The Sun: to print dedicated hashtags alongside its news stories
The Sun: to print dedicated hashtags alongside its news stories

News UK's most popular daily newspaper, The Sun, is claiming an industry first as it prints dedicated hashtags alongside its news stories.

The move is designed to encourage readers of the tabloid newspaper to share their thoughts online and extend the digital reach of Sun stories.

It is part of a concerted push by News UK to develop more of a significant presence for The Sun since it placed all its digital content behind a paywall in August 2013.

The publisher has recruited a dedicated Sun social media team led by former Daily Telegraph journalist James Manning.

Hashtags already printed by The Sun include #cordencameron, which accompanied guest editor James Corden's interview with the Prime Minister for Sport Relief and #scrumbag accompanying an interview with Rugby League love cheat Andy Powell.

Going forward, the newspaper will publish a selection of hashtags everyday to accompany specific stories. News UK claims the initiative will "provide a simple mechanic to connect offline and online conversations amongst Sun print readers, digital subscribers and social media followers".

David Dinsmore, editor of The Sun, said: "The Sun has always powered the nation’s conversation, but by printing hashtags alongside our news we are making it easy for readers to share their opinions and continue the story online. In an increasingly digital world, it will also help a whole new generation discover Sun content and our unique brand of journalism."

The Sun has more than five million followers on Twitter and over a million Facebook fans.

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