It is a common trend in Twitter ecosystem where a brand’s hashtag is hijacked by people at large. What do I mean, by saying hashtag was hijacked? If a brand creates a hashtag to popularize a particular event or product or some major announcement and other Twitter users start referring that hashtag in some other context, I call it as ‘hijack’. Why do I call it as hijack? Primarily for two reasons – 1) As a brand, the digital marketing team would have spent hours to arrive at that hashtag after multiple rounds of screening. They would have tried to map the hashtag with brand’s value proposition. If that gets hijacked in some other contexts, the brand’s context gets affected. 2) When the brand’s digital team would be analyzing the success or failure of the Twitter hashtag campaign, the numbers would be inflated due to some irrelevant tweets that would get mapped into the hashtag. This would essentially result in erroneous ROI calculation.
Today Samsung Mobile was promoting Galaxy Note with hashtag #TheEdgeofBrilliance. Samsung went ahead with Promoted Trend property on Twitter, which costs somewhere around Rs.6.5 – 7 lakhs per day (at times large agencies manage to negotiate and get it for Rs. 3.5 – 4 lakhs per day). This was supported by a promoted tweet which highlighted the key messaging.
While I was browsing through the tweets around the campaign hashtag (#TheEdgeofBrilliance), I noticed some hijacking of hashtag as it happens with every other Twitter campaign. Some of the tweets that were clearly not talking about Samsung or the product (Galaxy Note) being promoted are highlighted below:
Apart from these hijacked instances some Twitter users also criticized Samsung regarding the timing for this campaign:
As a brand it is crucial to expect and plan to counter such instances. No brand would afford to have such hijacking instances deter their campaign objectives and expected ROI. Some of the simple steps that brands could try are following:
1) As it is said ‘well begun is half done’, the campaign hashtag should be carefully chosen and if possible brand name should be incorporated in the campaign hashtag so that it sends a clear message to audience. In situations where brands tend to go after simple hashtags, the chances of them getting hijacked increases substantially.
2) It is very essential to set up a hashtag listening track on some listening tool and continuously monitor every tweet around this hashtag. Ideally the team should employ multiple people to handle this manually and identify such hijacked tweets.
3) The team should reply and engage with these users tactically. The engagement should be so planned that the conversation gets diverted to the campaign objective.
4) In case of some criticism, it is extremely essential for brand to acknowledge the person and pacify him / her, because the chances of these tweets being spotted would be much more due to the high virality of hashtag during those campaign days.
If you have faced similar situation in the past, in interest of the larger audience share your tips in the comment section below.
Disclaimer: This blogpost is not intended to highlight and/or comment on the Samsung’s digital strategy. The mere purpose of this blogpost is educating the larger audience.