There is a torrid love affair currently unfolding. A young, dynamic relationship that has grown over the past half-decade, between the internet technology boom and the users who are taking it by storm. As time has progressed, the amount of people who are using technology to gather information has increased and while some are skeptical – it doesn’t take too much to understand that times have changed in this social revolution, as have the avenues of communication.
It is hard to discuss the wildfire spread of internet connection without mentioning the use of hashtags. Ask the older generations – and the “pound key” is supposed to be used in strictly numerical situations. Generations X and Y will likely smile and shake their heads. The unsuspecting pound symbol seemed to have fell asleep a caterpillar and emerged a fully-fledged, hashtagged social butterfly – with the ability to reach a third of Earth’s population (the reported amount of individuals who actively use the internet). Take, for example, the top hashtags of the past couple of years: #PrayforParis, #LoveWins, or #BringBackOurGirls… all of these were shared at neck-breaking speeds, reaching across the globe to millions of social media users in a matter of hours, spurning the sharing of news and discussion.
Let’s discuss a company who utilized the hashtag to capitalize on brand recognition and buzz. In 2013, Oreo had invested money into the highly sought-after air time during the Super Bowl. Amid the Ravens/San Francisco battle, the lights in the Superdome went out – and Twitter lit up with people tweeting about the blackout. Oreo saw another opportunity, in addition to their investment in Superbowl Advertising.
Armed with the power of the trending Super Bowl blackout behind their off-the-cuff ad idea, they launched an ad which turned into a social media frenzy. In one hour’s time, over 10,000 retweets of this one, simple ad had occurred. Oreo – who that had taken a perfectly-timed opportunity and turned it into a trending avalanche – may have achieved more buzz with this marketing tactic versus the million dollar ad space purchased for the commercial spots during the football finale.
A company that is aware of the ability to harness a vast audience through the use of social media and web content is on the right track. There is no denying the internet’s ability to spread information faster than other, traditional marketing tactics and avenues. To achieve a connection with your audience, you must share your brand story, or promote your business in a creative, engaging way. Whether that is utilizing current events or other areas of interest, keep in mind to stay current with trends and brainstorm ways to reach a target audience with your brand messaging by understanding what is top of mind for your online community.