Hashtag Academy blog

How Verizon could have saved their #thanksgetting turkey

Hashtags get tweets found through search, hashtag clicks, and through the reach earned by republication when picked up and further shared to social through automated magazines like Sccopit, Instapaper, Paper.li, Glos.si, and Bottlenose.  Riding a trend and a hashtag with strong current engagement is a great way to get offers, social agendas and public issues seen.  It can be a great way to make a buck or bring together a community, but betting on the wrong hashtag can lead to bad things.

Verizon thinks we’re all about getting

It would appear that the mobile phone service provider launched a social media marketing campaign with a Thanksgiving jack: #thanksgetting


The reaction in Twitter was fast and must have been painful for the people of Verizon:


Some on Twitter either sought to use the #thanksgetting hashtag for their marketing efforts to appear in search - or pointed out that the spirit of getting is a reflection of us:

Not all that can come from a hashtag campaign is good. #mcdstories and it’s colorful four years of Tweets is an example of how no one owns the hashtag and the public can get very vocal.

How could Verizon have turned the public frown upside down?

They could have delved into hashtags used with #Thanksgiving and in Tweets with #thanksgetting, coupled with either #Thanksgiving or hashtags associated with #Thanksgiving.  This RiteTag Explorer lets you click hashtags outside the center hashtag to get the analytics on hashtags used with #Thanksgiving. Stats on the right show actual engagement: retweets and impressions (your wins) versus unique Tweets/hour containing the hashtag (your competition.)  Rather than jumping out the window with everyone else using a trending hashtag, RiteTag suggests that we will get better outcomes by selecting hashtags with a strong ratio of retweets and impression to uniques.

(Disclaimer: I am the founder and CEO of RiteTag, a social media optimization SaaS (software as a service) provider. Our hashtag Explorers and Analytics Pages are free and open to the public.)

RiteTag gave #thanksgiving a red, overused color grade, indicating that while the hashtag might be trending, it is being used so much that there is little chance of my use of the hashtag resulting in discover from search, hashtag-clicking or aggregation/republishing.  

Here’s what I did, starting with the hashtag Explorer for #Thanksgiving:

As I show in the animation above, I found:

  1. influential Twitter accounts for #Thanksgiving
  2. countries and languages with the highest utilization of the #Thanksgiving hashtag
  3. images, with attribution, for sharing (Twitter, Instagram, etc.)
  4. #happythanksgiving, #thankful, #blackfriday and #turkey all trumped* #Thanksgiving

* Trumped? These hashtags showed - at the time when I did my research - that retweets and impressions for Tweets with these hashtags was good when compared with the average number of unique Tweets/hour for these hashtags.  The analytics on current engagement versus how many Tweets are going out - trendiness - are what I make decisions with.

Note: bookmarking and saving hashtags as a set - for Twitter and Instagram use - is available to registered RiteTaggers.  RiteTag offers a full-featured free trial without a credit card pre-sale, so have at it, with just a Twitter account for login.

Saul Fleischman is founder and CEO at RiteTag, based in Prague, Czech Republic.  Credit to RiteTag CTO Michal Hudeček and Lead Developer Pavel Houžva for the design of RiteTag Explorers and Hashtag Analytics Pages.


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