It’s no surprise that a world going nuts about a birth in the British Royal Family would devise a hashtag to go with the spectacle: #royalbaby was trending long before the kid even had a name. Shortly after the birth was announced, Twitter even recorded a whooping 3.6k Tweets per minute (!) using the hashtag or mentioning the baby.
Some brands recognised the social horsepower of the #royalbaby hashtag and swiftly got on board by posting their own replies to the announcement of Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana. One of the best ones was posted on Lego’s instagram channel, with British Airways not far behind in adorableness. And with the naming of the baby happening so close to Star Wars Day, of course Death Star PR couldn’t stay out of it either:
Congrats to Kate and William on the birth of the #RoyalBaby. We'd suggest Princess Leia but we don't want anyone else blowing up our stuff.
— Death Star PR (@DeathStarPR) May 2, 2015
A royal hashtag campaign
Kensington Royal is the Twitter account for William, Kate and Harry and their joint humanitarian effort The Royal Foundation. The account feeds the fans updates and photos and has been steadily building up its follower base in the advent of the eagerly expected royal birth. They’ve even plugged their Instagram account to their followers. That’s basically proof that the monarchy has joined the 21st century for good. So Twitter seemed like a good place for breaking the news:
Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a daughter at 8.34am.
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) May 2, 2015
In a next step they even encouraged people to take part in their conversation by devising and promoting their very own hashtag for the event, (possibly inadvertently) kicking off a hashtag campaign:
By using #WelcomeToTheFamily the social media managers behind @KensingtonRoyal are attempting to turn a singular monarchic event into an everyday, every person event. It’s a warm and welcoming idea, aimed at bringing people all around the world together in something as undeniably positive as the birth of a child. And, coincidentally, it makes the whole family seem a lot more human and less aloof.
Unfortunately, Kensington Palace didn’t read our advice for running a successful hashtag campaign or they would have picked a different hashtag, one less widely in use. Because #WelcomeToTheFamily is a hashtag quite commonly used on Twitter:
Someone new joins a company or someone has brought in a new client? #WelcomeToTheFamily!
— ifoundmydoctor.com (@ifoundmydoctor) May 5, 2015
New Nissan car? #WelcomeToTheFamily!
— Pacific Nissan (@pacificnissan) April 24, 2015
New hire for a sports team? #WelcomeToTheFamily!
— Ball State Softball (@BallStateSB) April 23, 2015
Got a cute new pet? #WelcomeToTheFamily!
— NereydaJ. (@NeryyJayy) April 21, 2015
So, as you can see, there is a lot of unrelated chatter that can’t easily be filtered out of the #WelcomeToTheFamily hashtag campaign. But not all is lost, because enough people have gotten on board for Kensington Palace to be able to put together a Storify of the #WelcomeToTheFamily submissions. Just remember, you can only get away with a shoddily executed hashtag campaign if you’re the Royal Family! 😉