Twitter has been using custom hashtags (which they call them hashflags) as a tool for people to use so as to follow a certain event or contribute to it. They are basically normal hashtags with icons at the end and they are indeed better looking than the bland hashtags we’ve been accustomed to the past several years. Now we are seeing another trend as Twitter.
Coca-Cola, the popular soft drinks company approached Twitter to build for them a custom hashflag for them for a while. In an interview by TechCrunch, Ross Hoffman , Twitter’s senior director of global brand strategy at Twitter was quoted as saying that “people love using emojis and usage has been significantly increasing over time”. He also revealed that the partnership between Twitter and Coca Cola was a test to see if this will be turned into an ad product and the insights they would be able to gather from it will determine what they will do with the product (hashflags).
Currently, Twitter comes up with hashflags so as to make sure people are engaged to a certain event by following the tweets that bear it. By virtue of making these hashflags as an ad unit, it could be a unique ad product from Twitter. Brands and people like custom made products and that is why in the traditional market, custom products bear a higher price tag.
How would Twitter capitalize on this? Twitter will have either the usual custom hashtags or thecustom Snapchat overlays they were testing a while back. Twitter could have an option to bundle this in their ad offerings so that brands can make their campaigns more visible. Since these custom hashtags limit people psychologically to them, determining the success of the campaign through the usual metrics would be more accurate than before. The major downside to this is that this custom hashtags could lose their intrinsic value as users are bombarded with them all over the timeline which could lead to lower engagement.
This is a risk Twitter should take and it could prove to be catnip for advertisers because all brands want is visibility and these custom hashtags. Regarding the Coca-Cola experiment, so far it seems to have worked since they now have a record for the largest Twitter Cheer after they requested people to participate:
— Coca-Cola (@CocaCola) September 17, 2015
— RecordSetter (@RecordSetter) September 22, 2015
— Coca-Cola (@CocaCola) September 18, 2015