What does Trendjacking mean?

Using a popular trend to benefit yourself

Trendjacking is when someone purposefully or accidentally hops on a current trend to gain personal benefits. These benefits could include more fame, visibility, followers, clicks, and even money. A common example could be a business using a hot hashtag related to a public event on social media platforms like Twitter to attract more attention to their posts.

This practice is particularly prevalent on social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok. While businesses are often the main offenders, influencers and regular users can also be found guilty. The types of trends they might latch onto could be anything from current affairs, holidays, anniversaries, popular TV shows or movies, to major sports events.

When done right, trendjacking can be a positive and smart way to contribute to the ongoing trend. For instance, instead of Duracell, let’s take Energizer as an example. If Energizer had tweeted a tribute to New England Patriots fans after the Patriots won the Super Bowl, that would be a smart way to trendjack because Patriots fans also have a history of throwing batteries at rival players on the field.

However, trendjacking can backfire if it’s not done thoughtfully. A case in point is when certain companies tried to weave their products into tributes for sensitive events such as 9/11 on Twitter. This led to a strong negative reaction from the public and forced the companies to apologize.

Example for using ‘Trendjacking’ in a conversation

Hey, did you see that tweet from the company about the protest?

Yeah, they’re totally trendjacking to get more attention.

It’s so obvious! They’re just using the trending hashtag for their own benefit.

I know, it’s pretty cringe. They should contribute positively to the trend, not exploit it.