Hashtag Trends on Nigerian Twitter

New Twitter handles are springing up on "Nigerian Twitter" and are aiming to be the new questionnaire platforms. They ask questions to their followers on Twitter and somewhat to my surprise, their followers have been participating quite well and answering back.

Hashtag Trends on Nigerian Twitter

They seem not to be bothered that they are responding to similar questions over time using different spelling and wording variations. Sometimes even repeating the questions using different Twitter "questionnaire" handles.

With their growing popularity and high number of reach and engagement, they (questionnaire handles) have become targets for some brands in Nigeria.

Brands tend to want their product, events, campaigns, etc. to be mentioned in this almost non-stop conversation that holds the youth to ransom even for days through questionnaires on Twitter.

Then comes the introduction of hashtags at the end of the questions.

Generally, hashtags are awesome introduction in conversations on Twitter as they make it easier to follow a series of related tweets.

So with the questionnaire handles having high engagement and retweet rates, brands are getting them to mention their offerings or campaigns by including specific hashtags at the end of each question they tweet, however unrelated that hashtag is to the question.

This gives the brands' hashtag visibility. Within a short period, there's always a high probability that the hashtag would be a Twitter trending topic in Nigeria. A causal journey to any of Twitter analytic sites would show the breakdown of the numbers.

I really have to guess the aim of these hashtag inclusions are for awareness. The numbers (reach/impressions) seems to point to this strongly.

A couple of tweets with the hashtag included, a high number of impressions and retweets and it is a trending topic. To that end, it’s quite simple and successful process.

I see people on answering these questionnaires on Twitter and yes, I do notice the hashtags.

Digging a little deeper it seems the hashtags are a mere "decoration" at the end of each question as they nothing to do with the question being asked.

This got me wondering if this is really an effective method of creating awareness or marketing. Hashtags are made to be as short as possible, with the 140 characters limit on Twitter, they hardly can communicate much standing on their own. So when you now have a tweet asking ‘When did you last kiss? '#Egzalbumlaunch’, I really don’t know what the question and hashtag have in common.

On engagement level, does the hashtag inclusions spark any conversation about your brand/event/products,etc.?

People are engaging the questionnaire like they would normally do, with or without hashtags. And as they continue to reply the questionnaire handles, your hashtag gets lost in transition.

Two to three replies and you are probably no longer in the conversation at all. In fact the reach/impressions are totally about the questionnaire handles and their question which has little or nothing to do with your hashtags.

Now let’s say your hashtag got me curious genuinely, when I click through to find out what it is about, what do I get to see?

Irrelevant questions and answers all over the place? How have you educated me about your product/events/campaign? Looking at all these, one wonders if this a good strategic plan to gain awareness.

What’s the return on investment considering brands pay for this?

Share of mention or interest?

Followers?

Increased number of turnouts at the events?

Does the hashtag lead to engagement about your brand/product/event, etc.?

We should probably carry out more detailed research and find out the impact of the included hashtags on a specific event like album launch ticket sales or turnouts in these questionnaire handles.

It looks like the questionnaire handles are having fun with repeating same set of questions while getting paid. It would be helpful if the handles can however ask relevant questions to the hashtag event. So that a check on the hashtag thread can be a little more informative towards the brand's offerings.

I suspect though, the nostalgic element of the questions would be lost and disinterest might ensue.

Do feel free to share your thoughts on this issue; I’d like to learn from you guys.

Cover Image Credit: Rob Whittaker

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