Walking through the maze of booths at CES was quite the experience. Every turn I took there was more impossible future tech to get excited about and perhaps more ways to empty my bank account. I could finally relate to how the kid in Charlie and the Chocolate factory felt. CES 2014 was a sneak peak at the future, or perhaps, what the future can be. Curved televisions, augmented reality, cars that self-park and one wheeled skate boards surely make it seem like the possibilities are endless.
While the tech was varied, there was one common denominator across all brands present which was an active social media presence. Almost every big player like Samsung, Toyota and Logitech had a huge screen up or a banner suspended in their booth, displaying their respective hashtags. There was no campaign or contest; the entire screen contained only the hashtag and fellow CES attendees just tweeted away.
Twitter was selected for this analysis, as the majority of the conversation was on this platform. Hashtags can be used on Instagram and Facebook as well, but the platform that they thrive on is Twitter. Let’s jump in and find out the most popular/social/used hashtags and brands.
During my awe struck wander around the booths, it was interesting to see that smaller brands focused on running campaigns while bigger brands only concentrated on their respective hashtags. This indicates that smaller brands are focused on qualitative engagement, while bigger brands focus on the larger picture and look for brand resonance on a larger scale.
For example: PCKeeper Live, a security support company, would ask you to sign up and then you would get a free trial for your online activities, and then cheekily, a free condom would be given to you for your offline activities. Some brands were giving away vodka shots and cheese popcorn; it almost felt like I was in college again.
Another interesting campaign was conducted by Corning Glass where contestants had to upload a picture of themselves wearing a badge with a gorilla on it (provided by the brand) and then tweet it out using the hashtag #alwaystough. Randomly selected winners would walk away with a tablet made from Corning Glass. The hashtag was used only 31 times by users, but given the fact it was really difficult to get access to 3G Internet in the venue (heaven knows I tried) 31 probably isn’t too bad!
It was a great pleasure for us to walk the halls of the largest consumer electronics show in the world. The convention center was a time machine to the future, where it seems like social media is going to play a pivotal role.
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