Case Study: Creating a Trend on Twitter #SpainIs

We’ve all heard of new-jacking thanks to David Meerman Scott, but can Twitter be used to promote positivity around a message and create news? I’m going to hand you over to Graham Hunt, the man who turned the #SpainIs hashtag into a wave of positive publicity for his adopted country.


A lot of us who live in Spain are sick of the bad publicity surrounding the country especially that emanating from the UK press. Therefore I wrote a rant asking UK journalists politely to go forth and multiply, but a rant doesn’t always get the results  you want. This developed into an idea to promote some positivity about living and working in Spain.

I have a group of just 80 Writers and Bloggers About Spain (WABAS) on Facebook. In there we help to promote each other and get out our stories and news about our businesses. You could call it a little syndicate.

We decided that we would create a positive hashtag about Spain and plan to make it a trending topic on Twitter at 12pm Spanish time on Monday the 25th of June. How did we do? Well as I write this we are the sixth most popular trending topic in Spain for the hashtag and the project actually started with around 20 members of the group posting positive stories and RT’ing them.

 It shows you do not need much – just a good idea and decent contacts.

Within half an hour we had a trending topic. Within forty minutes it had taken on a life of its own and funnily enough the haters and spammers had started. The weird thing is that most of the haters are Spanish!

We are continuing for an hour or so yet so keep an eye out and the #SpainIs… will continue to be featured in all of our positive stories coming out over the next few weeks. After all who wants negativity all the time?

We all know what the problems are, but pointing them out changes nothing.

Follow the hashtag and get over to the Facebook page to find out more.

Graham Hunt can be found on his blog, ranting…

Takeaways from this post

  • WE make the news, we can chose what we react to
  • If we don’t like the negativity, we can promote the positives
  • It doesn’t take many people to make a difference

If this was me, I’d look into creating a regular  (weekly?) Twitter chat with the #SpainIS hashtag and using that to generate further conversations around the good news stories surrounding local businesses.

It might also be worth attempting a blog carnival with the Facebook group members to help promote each other, so there is activity leading to the participants own sites, and not just Facebook and Twitter.

Would you take the news into your own hands?



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Sarah Arrow

Sarah Arrow started blogging to save a business and it worked! She created her first blogging challenge back in 2007, and is the author of many quick start marketing guides, turning Sark eMedia into a publishing business.

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Graham - a couple of years ago

Not always ranting ;-)

Graham - a couple of years ago

We got to number two in Spain only beaten by a politician opening her big mouth and sayng something really really stupid!

    Sarah Arrow - a couple of years ago

    Well it was always going to be hard to beat a Spanish politician when it comes to trending on Twitter. I still think you need to do this every Monday lunch to help everyone :)

Jessica - a couple of years ago

Well, today is the 25th. How is your project? The idea is very interesting!

karmen Legazpi - a couple of years ago

I see your point here and I agree with you that it’s us who make the news and changing our attitude is the best way to take the world foward. But, sorry to say, I don’t agree with you on a certain issue.

According to you, if someone says something negative about Spain he/she is a hater? Are you serious?

To start with, I was born in Valencia. Do I love Spain? Not necessarily. I don’t hate it either. Talking about the bad things here only makes people aware of what’s going on. Problems everywhere? Yes, but a bit of humour these days can’t hurt anyone. I’m reading the tweets and I can’t help but laugh, as most of them are true.

Maybe you’re taking this too seriously. I see you’re living here and you love this country but we’re famous for criticising everything Spanish-related. Take a break!

    Graham - a couple of years ago

    I agree Karmen not everyone is a hater but today was a day for positivity about Spain and I am sorry to say the Spanish haven’t covered themselves in glory. I would estimate that over 95% of tweets in English were positive and in Spanish it was roughly 95% negative, apart from the Falangistas and Fachas *sigh*. Spain will not get out of the problems with that attitude unfortunately.

    I absolutely loved some of the negative tweets they were so funny but today was not a day to rt them :-)

Julia Spenser - a couple of years ago

The project seems to be very interesting and even exciting, I wish you good luck in these beginnings

Graham - a couple of years ago The latest news about what happened to the hashtag and how it got hijacked into two separate languages the positive in English and the ultra negative in Spanish

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