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5 Hashtag Mistakes to Avoid on Social Media

The focus in recent days and weeks has been on Facebook and its hashtag introduction; however the hashtag is still something we associate with Twitter and something more common on the micro blogging site.

We’ve seen the humble hashtag used on Twitter since the very start and learned a lot along the way. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a number of tips that both platforms and Instagram also, can benefit from. These are the hashtag social media mistakes most commonly made.

Capitals

The capital letter is a valuable addition to the hashtag and without it all sorts of issues can arise. The most amazing being the Susan Boyle album release of 2012. The Singer’s release party hashtag was #susanalbumparty – no points for spotting the issue here. Capitals would have removed the chance of error – #SusanAlbumParty, seems like a different sort of party and more becoming of a lady.

There are rumours that the hashtag was used to gain trending status – we’re not sure, but it’s a lesson learned.

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Research

The hashtag you use can have a significant effect on the campaign. Entenmann’s Cookies found this out recently. The company used what they thought was a hashtag that was unique to their business and something that they felt was regarding the almost guilt inducing sweetness of their cookies. Sadly, the hashtag #notguilty was also trending because of a horrific murder verdict. Lesson being – research your hashtags.

Abbreviations

These are also something that can get lost in translation. The rise of instant messages means we have more abbreviations than ever before. However, these succinct little ditties can cause all sorts of issues.

One yoga company, hoping to motivate users for September with the catch line ‘What the focus September’, decided to abbreviate and tweet WTFSept. It resulted in a lot of hatred for the month and not a lot of people tweeting about yoga, as had been the original intention.

Comments

McDonalds wanted to begin a campaign that showcased some of the interesting and positive stories out there about the brand. This was done during the ill-fated McDStories campaign. Seems the business didn’t realise their reputation, as most of the public used the #McDStories hashtag to tweet awful things about the brand. McDonalds didn’t comment and pulled the campaign within hours. Lack of commenting and ignoring customers are just two more examples of the social media mistakes that such businesses make time after time.

Politics

They say never to talk about religion or politics at a dinner party and the same is true for brands on social media. Some things do not need to be said on social media. Kitchen Aid found that out when one of their employees went anti-Obama on its Twitter account, racing and ranting about the president and his recently deceased grandmother. Twitter is about the real time and should be used with extreme caution – this example is a fine one of that.

Social media is an amazing tool, however these are just some of the things to watch out for when using it.

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