Trendjacking your way to the top!

Have you every tried trendjacking?

Trendjacking has been a concept that has always been around in PR but with the advent of social media, the popularity of this has increased manifold. The kind of stupendous results that it delivers has made it a hot favourite with PR professionals.

What is Trendjacking?

Trendjacking simply means taking advantage of a trending topic and creating a buzz using it. This concept first started gaining momentum a few years after Twitter’s inception in 2006. This was greatly driven by the hashtag feature which let social media users keep abreast of trends emerging in real-time.
Trendjacking can include piggybacking on the time of film releases, sporting events, specific days such as Valentine’s Day, festivals, social issues being talked about, political events such as elections, hot news and so on.

There are many creative ways of doing this. Here’s a fine example of how Oreo cashed in on this. When the lights at the New Orleans Superdome went out during the 2013 Super Bowl, in just a few seconds people started tweeting #BlackoutBowl. Oreo was quick to grab the opportunity and posted a real-time ad on Twitter which showed Oreo cookie sitting in a dark area with the line, “You can still dunk in the dark.” Make sure that you stay well within the ethics of your brand while Trendjacking though.
How do you get Trend Jacking ideas?
• Google news search feature
• Twitter, Facebook, and other social media feeds
• Your local newspaper (online or paper)
• Entertainment news
• Conversations at office or social circles

Begin with research:

Never jump on to the trending bandwagon without research. Check the story behind the trend. Identify where it originated, the kind of sentiment connected to it and if it has any elements that could negatively impact your followers.
Here’s an incident where Trendjacking went horribly wrong due to lack of adequate research. An UK-based celeb boutique noticed #Aurora was trending in 2012 on Twitter. They did not do enough research and therefore were unaware that this trend related to the terrible theatre shooting in Aurora, Colorado where 12 people died. The boutique tweeted thinking it referred to the Kim Kardashian-inspired Aurora dress. The tweet generated a negative backlash.

Make sure you are relevant:

Trends change rapidly and you must make sure that you link your brand to the trend at the right time. Time is critical. Make sure that there is a genuine connection between your brand and the topic; one must never get the feeling that this is forced or irrelevant. Act quickly.

Be original and creative:

Originality and creativity not only help your brand get noticed, but they also help your brand communication go viral.

Entertain:

When you are Trendjacking, make sure you have something that will engage your audience. This does not necessarily mean that you have to be humorous but for sure you need to have something that they will have sustained interest in.

Find a new angle:

A fresh angle to an existing trend is important as this element of novelty is what will attract the TG. Social media is always all about more and more new content and points of view.

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