#sharethebay hashtag trends for all the wrong reasons
The #sharethebay hashtag was finally trending on Twitter at the weekend – but for all the wrong reasons.
The Nelson Mandela Bay municipality had hoped to use the social media reach of 12 celebrities to get the city to trend, creating a buzz on all the tourism offerings.
Instead, a report by The Herald's sister publication, Weekend Post, highlighting how the celebrities had failed to ignite the #sharethebay tagline, started to trend.
This came after only a handful of the celebrities let their thousands of Instagram and Twitter followers know where they were last week.
The celebrities enjoyed an all-expenses-paid four-day trip during which they walked with giraffes and had a boat cruise and helicopter flips, and then they were gone.
They included influencers Linda Moeketsi, Khanyi Mbau, Cassper Nyovest, Katlego Selekane, Babalwa Mneno, Nwabisa Joka, Tebogo Lerole, Carpo and Tumi Mohale.
Three international influencers, Sincerely Ward, Chanita Foster and Allana Foster, were also among the group.
But only five – Mneno, Moeketsi, Mohale, Selekane and Chanita Foster – posted to Instagram and Twitter.
The report, which started trending on Saturday afternoon, had hundreds of people questioning the concept.
"They sign off campaigns but have no care in actually understanding the platforms that these campaigns will be running on," Ngoako Lerato Mannya tweeted.
Sydney Ntantiso posted: "What a sad tag."
While some residents took the chance to post pictures of a filthy city, others chose to share pictures of some of the Bay's tourism sites.
Asa Walesa Mazomba, who uses the Twitter handle @AsaWalesa, called on mayor Mongameli Bobani to use the Bay's residents enjoying what the city had to offer.
Bobani tweeted back that he would think about it.
"We want to promote the Bay as a destination to go to," he tweeted.
Marion Marais then entered the fray, asking if any contracts were signed.
"How many Facebook, IG [Instagram] and tweets [were] these 'influencers' meant to do for their exorbitant fees?"
In an effort to take back control of the situation, Bobani tweeted later: "Creatives can submit their proposals to the SRAC [sport, recreation and arts committee], EDTA [economic development, tourism and agriculture directorate] and my office.
Creatives can submit their proposals to the SRAC, EDTA and my office.— Mayor Mongameli Bobani (@BobaniMayor) September 14, 2019
Our doors are open.
"Our doors are open."
But Ntsika Scott tweeted back, saying: "This is definitely not true.
"I've been waiting for a response to a letter I sent five months ago."
Phumlani Kango tweeted: "Do you wanna know what is upsetting about #ShareTheBay is that creatives in the EC struggle to get opportunities, we have to leave our province because there are no opportunities and when [there] are they're given to people who are not from there because our skills are undermined."
Do you wanna know what is upsetting about #ShareTheBay is that creatives in the EC struggle to get opportunities, we have to leave our province because there are no opportunities and when they are they’re given to people who are not from there because our skills are undermined.— Phumlani 🏳️🌈🏳️🌈 (@phumlani_prep) September 15, 2019
@dumigwebu tweeted: "Lol it's so funny that only the blowback makes #SHARETHEBAY trend not the influencers.
"At least they are getting the exposure they paid for one way or another."
Asked to comment, Bobani said the municipality would use "local influencers" in the second phase of the campaign.
"I have noted the concerns from the residents and local artists in our bid to show what Nelson Mandela Bay has to offer," he said.
"The campaign is still ongoing and on our second phase we will definitely include local influencers."
We have brilliant local travel content creators in SA! Just go on the weekly travel tags or check out people like @CeecesTravel. Using celeb "influencers" instead was the wrong outlet and missed opportunity by those behind the failed Nelson Mandela Bay #SHARETHEBAY campaign. 👀— Ulrich Janse van Vuuren (@UlrichJvV) September 15, 2019