October 9, 2013

#ProudlyBroughtByANC PR Spins Out of Control

With over 25,000 mentions from South Africa, #ProudlyBroughtByANC is possibly the hottest hashtag that has hit South Africa in recent political history, bringing satire to everyone involved. On the back of the DA’s eTolls billboard campaign, the ANC tried to use the hashtag to create a positive publicity spin on Twitter.

This Wednesday, Mike Wronski, MD of Fuseware, will be talking to Jenny Cwrys Williams, on 702 at 3pm, about the trend that has taken South Africa by storm.

The hashtag, which has been trending in South Africa since Monday, was first mentioned by Khusela Sangoni, whose Twitter profile states that she is the ANC’s National Media Liaison, and former ANC Youth League Spokesperson. Since then, 6.7% of all people who have spoken about the hashtag have indicated they are affiliated with the ANC in their Twitter bios. The rest of South Africa’s mentions paint a different picture.

@KhuselaK (ANC National Media Liaison) was the first person that tweeted the hashtag with a tweet reading “2 new universities #ProudlyBroughtByANC” at 12:50 PM on 7 Oct.

@shakasisulu, with almost 35,000 followers, joined the conversation soon after, tweeting “@gautrain #ProudlyBroughtByANC”.

@_KushCarter tweeted over 80 times, starting at 1:39pm on 7 Oct, spurring on the voice of the masses, many of his tweets receiving over 15 retweets, despite having only 439 followers. Most of the responses to his tweets were already highly negative.

Starting at 1:46PM, @theafricanchild tweeted over 125 times – very much pro ANC, again the replies to his tweets were highly negative.

Initial thought-leader, Jackson Mthembu got on the proverbial Twitter train at 2:04pm on 7 Oct with tweets like “#ProudlyBroughtByANC Freedom for all South Africans”.

@MyANC_, with 74k followers only tweeted once by retweeting Jackson and receiving 44 retweets. Followers are extremely pro-ANC and had positive response.

After this, the avalanche started gaining momentum as key influencers had joined the conversation and several highly active connected tweeters had started tweeting.

Sentletse (33k followers) and PearlThusi (123k followers) also started tweeted the hashtag after 2pm, and the rest is history. Within 24 hours, many SA celebrities and opposition parties had caught on and joined the fray. It had become the most viral hashtag in recent SA political history.

Twice as many tweets were made from Johannesburg versus Cape Town, of which 75% were from male contributors. Most tweets were made after 5pm when the rest of South Africa could join the conversation on Twitter, including celebrities and influencers such as Gareth Cliff, Helen Zille, Khaya Dlanga, Roger Goode and F1 Sasha.

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