You have probably heard or seen about the conflict and separation of the Egyptian Superstar Tamer Hosny and his Wife Basma Boussel who announced their divorce in an Instagram Story.
The reproach of Tamer on the Instagram Story made Basma write another Story that made the tour of the internet and has been topping trends across the Arab World. The sentence ‘Reckless, But I Love You!’ became a meme in all pages and groups on Facebook.
When you write متهورة in Google, the first search suggestion is “!متهورة بس بحبك”
Mcdonald’s took the advantage of the popularity of the news or trend and published a post on Facebook. The post was a simple picture, yellow background with a copy ‘Reckless, But I’m Lovin’ it!’ and the caption was “يا ماكدونالدز يا مفيش” in reference to Tamer Hosny’s song called “يا أنا يا مفيش”.
What Mcdonald’s did is called NewsJacking or TrendJacking.
What is Newsjacking?
Newsjacking is a marketing practice of quickly launching a campaign or a post related to a current popular event, breaking news, or trending story to get noticed, generate attention, and boost the brand’s exposure. The idea is to take advantage of the popularity of a story to promote your service or product.
This term was first introduced by the Marketing Expert David Meerman Scott, who wrote a book called “Newsjacking: How to Inject Your Ideas into a Breaking News Story and Generate Tons of Media Coverage”
Brands shouldn’t jump on every trend, trends should be used carefully and wisely because it can bring negative feedback or generate brand attacks.
You should relate your brand to relevant news and events or it will not be effective nor generate engagement.
Mcdonald’s used this situation as a trend because the words Basma said are close to Mcdonald’s slogan “I’m Lovin’ it”
Mcdonald’s didn’t use the couple’s problem as a trend, but instead used the words written after reconciliation.
To succeed in your Newsjacking, you need to:
- Be fast: Remember that timing is everything. You need to publish your content before the interest fades or before everybody talks about it.
- Be original: Don’t use the trend the same way as your competitors.
- Be relevant: Don’t react to anything and everything. If the situation is not relevant to your target audience, the message won’t be understood. Don’t force it.
- Be human, and avoid talking about people’s pains and disasters. Tragic and controversial events will create problems. Also avoid talking about race, religion, and gender.
- Use a hashtag: If the topic is trending, use a hashtag so people find your post and engage with it, that’s the point of using trends.
You need to remember that Newsjacking posts don’t always have the same high quality as scheduled content or content based on a strategy. That’s why you need to think before publishing because prioritizing timing over quality can do more harm than good. Acting fast is important but producing good content is a must.