Rihanna, if you’re listening, I think you should title your next single ‘wi likkle but wi tallawah’

In a brilliant move, #jamaicantwitter took on and won, I might add, a Twitter campaign against Barbados by ‘kidnapping’ the nationality of Rihanna one of their most famous citizens.

What turned out to be a hilarious grassroots campaign, is also a case study for small businesses on how to harness the power of social media.

While it is not an easy feat to go viral and cop your own #twittermoment, there are some valuable takeaways.

Here’s the tweet that started it.

Make your campaign about a cause

People love to be a part of a cause. #Jamaicantwitter rallied around the cause of defending their homeland from the offense they took when some Bajans citizens criticized the Jamaican economy. It was about national pride. How dare they ‘dis’ us.

When planning your campaign, identify a cause that reflects the values of your organization, the interest of your target audience and create a campaign around it. If your target audience can relate, they are more likely to participate.

Have one simple message

With attention spans shrinking, whoever can capture attention with a simple message, wins.  In this instance the message was #rihannaisajamaica and everybody who wanted to be a part of the fun could understand it because it was plain and simple.

Then capture your message in a relatable hashtag

I’ve seen many campaign hashtags, some relevant and others not so much. You want a hashtag that captures the essence of your message, easy to remember and easy to spell. Here the hashtag was the whole message #rihannaisjamaican. Cues for writing hashtags can come from writing short headlines.

Make it easy for your target audience to create their own content

In the world of social media, user-generated content for any business is gold. So, when you are crafting your campaign, consider how to make it easy for your target audience to easily insert themselves into the storyline. In the #rihannaisjamaican story, anybody could participate.

We saw tweets from the average Jamaican up to the Mayor of Kingston joining in. Folks were able to use their individual skillsets to join the fun. Those who are quick-witted were able to fire off potent tweets; the more artistic citizens were able to Photoshop Rihanna to suit the narrative or simply use a relevant Gif. The participation barrier was very low.

And finally, it must elicit some emotion

One thing that was evident when you read the #rihannaisjamaica hashtag was, people were having fun with it. It was about laughter and good-natured ribbing (even though not all Bajans found it funny).

To get a response from your target audience, your campaign must stir up an emotion within them. It won’t always be laughter, it could be delight, sadness, anger, bliss or any other emotion relevant to the message you are sharing. If your message is saving the environment, for example, a possible emotional reaction you want to evoke is alarm, as you may want persons to be aware of the consequences of bad environmental practices.

Some great philosopher said, “everything in life can teach you a lesson, you just have to be willing to observe and learn” (unknown).

Applaud yourself #jamaicantwitter you unintentionally created a masterclass in how to harness the power of social media

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