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14th October 2013 |  Written by Laura Thomas

The perils of using a #hashtag in your viral video…

Last week, as we noted in our This Is An Insight blog, the prank video promoting the remake of the Carrie film went viral. I mean, BIG viral. For an hour, at least, it was all that Twitter was talking about. Until a certain mumsnet thread, but that’s another blog post…

A friend of mine, she’s a social media girl too, posted it on Facebook. But, I noticed – being the geek that I am – she didn’t use the official hashtag #FlexLikeCarrie. I asked why, because she’s as much of a hashtag advocate as I am, she said it was because she hadn’t watched the video the whole way through, she just ‘knew it would be good’. This isn’t shocking though, given this little article from Slate about the correlation about article completion and tweets

The official hashtag doesn’t actually make an appearance until the end of the video. Was this a risky move? Let’s have a look. Below is a graph of mentions of #Carrie and #FlexLikeCarrie:

Carrie Graph

As you can see, the #FlexLikeCarrie has distinctly less mentions than the generic #Carrie hashtag during the peak – which was when the video was released. Below are the most popular tweets about the topic and you can see that even big accounts, like Derren Brown or Total Film, used the generic hashtag rather than #FlexLikeCarrie.

top tweets #carrie

I can’t help but wonder, was it a conscious decision to include the hashtag at the end of the video? Where most people would have prematurely crossed the box on YouTube and headed straight to their social network of choice? As a social media girl, it’d almost always be my advice to make the hashtag as visible as possible, without it being obstructive or detrimental to the experience of viewing the video. And when a hashtag has been specifically created for a campaign or a video – it’s a shame that it hasn’t been utilised to its full potential.

Much like Phoebe Buffay, dismayed at the Christmas trees being cut down in their prime, I’m dismayed at the lack of conversation around this hashtag. It’s an awesome video, I just wish the social media team had managed to really capitalise on the conversation and take the campaign to the next level.

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