Smart #Hashtags takes Twitter ‘trending’ to the next level
(The Philippine Star) | Updated November 9, 2013 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - Virtually any company with a good social media strategy can make a hashtag trend on Twitter, but converting these “trending topics” into actual sales has become the Holy Grail for digital marketers.
Through the innovative mobile advertising solution dubbed Smart #Hashtags pioneered by Smart Communications Inc., companies can finally make that conversion.
Through the new program, brands can connect directly with their target consumers who post Twitter updates using a predetermined hashtag. Subscribers, in turn, may receive rewards and other perks from participating brands for joining the Twitter promotion.
Smart #Hashtags bridges the virtual to the physical world through the smart use of hashtags, which enable brands to tap into the more than 70 million subscribers under the Smart, Sun, and Talk ‘N Text networks for their marketing campaigns.
Hashtags, depicted by a pound sign (#) followed by a short topic or phrase, were originated by microblogging site Twitter to group tweets talking about a similar topic.
Hashtags and phrases posted by a large number of users over a short period of time are included in a coveted list called Twitter’s Trending Topics that appear on the sidebar of users’ Twitter feed.
“With Smart #Hashtags, we are paving the way for brands to extend the reach of their social media campaigns and connect with consumers directly, helping them go beyond just mere ‘trending’ on Twitter and, in turn, potentially generating more revenue for the company,” says Leah Besa-Jimenez, Smart’s Media Convergence Group head.
Piloted recently during an event staged by a multinational fast-moving consumer goods company, Smart #Hashtags worked by prompting users who tweeted using the brand’s event hashtag to register and enroll both their Twitter accounts and mobile numbers to the program.
After registration, subscribers received an SMS driving them to a CRM activity in exchange for 20 free texts to Smart and Talk ‘N Text subscribers. At this point, brands can determine how they want to reward or engage the consumer: whether through a drive-to-store coupon offer, a discount announcement or a product giveaway, among others.
Owing to its creativity and unique value proposition for consumers, the pilot program of Smart #Hashtags yielded an overwhelming number of tweet responses during the event, yielding substantial click-through rates that were exponentially higher than current industry standards.
“Companies have always felt the constant challenge of converting their online campaigns to offline purchases,” says Besa-Jimenez.
“Smart #Hashtags has demonstrated that we can help brands finally transform online conversation to offline conversion, leading online consumers directly to the offline path to purchase,” she adds.
The revolutionary service has immense potential in the Philippines, dubbed the “social networking capital of the world.” The country currently ranks 10th worldwide in terms of Twitter adoption with more than 9.5 million registered users as of 2012, according to social media monitor Semiocast (http://semiocast.com).
“We have lined up more pilot tests in the coming weeks for Smart #Hashtags, with many brands expressing excitement over this unique mobile ads program. We look forward to trailing this blaze with them as we help