Hijack that hashtag

At Sprechen we've always got an eye on future trends in digital marketing so that we can make sure we are doing the best job possible for our clients. This week we've been pondering hashtags, in particular 'hijacking' them to spread the word about your product, brand or event. It's a risky strategy and one that both the good and bad influencers on the internet are equally engaged in. ISIS are renowned for hijacking hashtags to spread their beliefs as far and as wide as possible.

Innocent drinks (the people behind those rather nice smoothies) started their own hashtag #nationalpenguinawarenessday where they stated they had never and would never use penguins in their drinks. Well, obviously, but it caught the imagination of people around the world and raised their profile. That's not technically a 'hashtag highjack' though, that's just creating a good hashtag.

L'Oreal managed to use the #hottestdayoftheyear hashtag combined with some fun pictures of cute animals playing or splashing in water to boost their profile on Twitter, a lovely example of a successful hashtag hijack.

What about when it doesn't go so well? Here's an example of a hashtag hijack gone wrong - an America pizza company decided to use #whyistayed to market their product, but their tweet of " #whyistayed - you had pizza" attracted attention for all the wrong reasons when it turned out it was already being used to highlight awareness of domestic abuse.

There's also a screenshot supposedly from British favourite Homebase using the hashtag #RIPPrice (in relation to the American singer Price who had passed away the night before) just to promote their brand. No connection to Prince, just a complete shot in the dark. The original has been deleted but we can't believe anyone on their digital team can have been quite o stupid... can they?!

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