What I wanted to do for this Twitter campaign #WhyIDitchedDairy was to bring the vegan community together and spread awareness about the cruelty of the dairy industry. We already use the #Februdairy hashtag this month but because so many of us already use that hashtag, there was little hope that we could attract a new audience to an anti-dairy campaign. So I came up with #WhyIDitchedDairy and I wanted our hashtag to trend. I knew getting a topic to trend is no easy feat; and I seriously thought only a small group of people would end up participating in the campaign. I wanted the campaign to be a success story, but at the same time I kept my expectations low. I messaged the vegan chat groups on Twitter, I messaged vegans individually, I made some tweets, I made a few posts on this site, and I encouraged everyone to spread the word via DM. We had less than a week from the time I came up with the idea to the time the campaign launched, so I wasn’t sure how big of a response we would get from the online vegan community.
Well, the campaign went better than I expected. I was – and still am – truly shocked.
Around 8 AM I had began analyzing the hashtag analytics using one of those free services. Based on the data, it appeared as if barely 50 of us were tweeting. Over an hour or so the number increased by about a hundred, but it was very disappointing.
I thought, there is no way we’re going to even reach 1,000 people using this hashtag!
I decided to experiment with Twitter ads. When I clicked to promote a tweet, the lowest cost seemed to be 50$. That’s a bit much for me, but I thought there was a way to pay less money. I figured it out and decided to spend 10 dollars on promoting a few of my tweets. I didn’t really know what I was doing when I set it up. I thought that I may have just blown ten bucks – or I spent ten bucks and my tweets reached someone. I set up the ads and kind of forgot about it.
A little while later, right after I sent out a tweet pleading for people to participate in our campaign (remember, I believed that our numbers were low), a friend of mine in the UK sent me this:
WE. WERE. TRENDING!!!
I had had my doubts about getting our hashtag trending, but there it was. I was in disbelief. Almost 4k tweets, and all in a relatively short amount of time. We could’ve reached our peak in popularity there and I would have been quite satisfied because I knew vegans were participating and I knew our tweets were being seen.
Looking at those numbers made me realize how off those hashtag analytics results were. I decided not to use the service (socialert) for the rest of the day. I made a request on Twitter for people to send me any screenshots of the trending topic.
A couple of hours later, I was shocked again. Tweets were sent out faster than I ever expected. By 1 pm (eastern US time), we were STILL trending in the UK with over 6k tweets!
It just got better. In about an hour or so, we increased our tweets by almost 2k.
By 3/3:30 PM US Eastern Time, we were approaching 10k tweets.
Thankfully people were sending me screenshots, or I would have never known. I have a few Twitter accounts and I kept checking them to see if the trend would appear for me. For one of my accounts, the trend did appear but without any information as to the number of tweets. And on my Paw Report twitter, I couldn’t see it as a trending topic at all. So I thought that perhaps our hashtag was only trending in the UK.
But then, around 4 PM, someone in Arizona sent me this:
WE WERE TRENDING IN THE U.S.!!!!
Our hashtag reached its peak about an hour later. I was informed by a couple of people in the UK that Twitter removed our hashtag from the trending topics around 5 PM (again, eastern US time). Right before we were removed from twitter’s trending topics, we reached over 10.5k tweets. This is the last screenshot I was able to get:
There are people still using the hashtag of course, and I imagine (and I hope) that they will continue to do. I don’t see it likely that our hashtag will show up again as a trending topic unless a massive amount of new people start using the hashtag. But in the chance that it does, I will post an update here.
I received this screenshot from a vegan in California… we are still trending at just about 7 PM, and at well over 12K tweets!!!
And what about those twitter ads I paid for? Well, it looks like ten bucks got me quite a few views. As of right now, I spent almost seven of my ten dollars, and I’ve reached almost 1,000 impressions.
Today has been an amazing day. I learned a lot about not only a bit about how to get a hashtag trending, but also the power of the vegan community. We were able to achieve this without many of the big Twitter accounts helping us. I will say that I’m disappointed some of the more “popular” vegan accounts didn’t join in, but I am totally grateful for everyone who posted a tweet, retweeted or liked a tweet in our campaign. Every tweet really did matter today.
The fun isn’t over quite yet though, as of this writing. Later on, right at midnight tonight, I will be selecting the winner of my giveaway. Click here for my tweet about it!
The giveaway is for a vegan t-shirt sold through Wibo Animal Sanctuary’s Red Bubble page. The proceeds of the shirt sale will go 100% to Wibo! In their store are adorably vegan designs such as this one:
The winner can pick whatever t-shirt they want from the Classic Design section. It is open to US, Canada, and UK residents. As of this posting there are almost six hours left to enter. To enter you simply retweet the tweet.
Since the peak in popularity of #WhyIDitchedDairy seems to have taken place, I will go ahead and publish this post. Should anything special occur I will come back to edit the post. I just want to say a heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who participated in our campaign and who made it a success. I can’t emphasize enough how stunned I am that we were not only able to get it to trend, but to have it be a trending topic for as long as it did. It appeared as a #1 trend to my vegan friends in the UK, and I’m amazed. Last I checked we were at almost 13k tweets using the hashtag, and there are people still tweeting!
I’m so grateful to the vegan community for spreading awareness because I know we have changed some minds today. To think of the reach our tweets had today is mind-boggling. I’m hopeful that we can achieve something like this again in a new campaign. Thanks again and please reach out to me on Twitter about the campaign or anything else you’d like to say!