Know Your Hashtags
Before you send your next tweet, you need to know your hashtags. There are always hashtags that are trending on Twitter. It is not uncommon for brands to jump onto those hashtags in order to tie their names in with whatever is trending. The problem comes when brands don’t do their research and make an inappropriate tweet using that hashtag. That is why you need to know your hashtags before you tweet with them.
Case in point: this past week, the hashtag #whyistayed started trending after TMZ Sports posted video of Ray Rice punching his then fiancée. The hashtag was used by domestic violence victims to explain why they stayed with their abusers. There were many stories from abuse victims. A frozen pizza company then took the opportunity to jump in on the trending hashtag, tweeting, “#WhyIStayed You had pizza.” Many Twitter users quickly called the company out for the inappropriate tweet.
That wasn’t the first time a brand used a trending hashtag in an inappropriate manner. In the hours after the Aurora, CO movie theater shooting in July 2012, #Aurora was trending. A clothing retailer used the hashtag to tweet about its Aurora style dress. This is never okay.
If you plan on using a trending hashtag for your brand, you need to know your hashtags. In short, do your research. Log into your Twitter account and search for the trending hashtag to see what the conversation is about. If your brand can add something meaningful to the conversation, go for it. If not or you aren’t sure, stay out of it. Inappropriate hashtag use is 100% avoidable if you look up the hashtag and “listen” to the conversation before joining in.