People just LOVE to watch other people (and companies) get humiliated on Twitter. The number one vehicle for ensuring a humilating Twitter experience? A really stupid hashtag.
Hashtags are are way for Twitter users to categorize their tweets. Putting the “#” symbol in front of a phrase allows them to quickly find related information on a topic. For instance, when Flight 370 went missing in Malaysia, news outlets used the hashtag #MH370 when tweeting new information. Twitter users could search for #MH370 to find the latest updates.
Most companies fail using hashtags because they don’t fundamentally understand the way Twitter works. Many of these ‘social media experts’ at companies are old-school marketing and public relations people who have little experience in social media and specifically, the culture of Twitter. So they plop out a hashtag and expect a wave of tweets and retweets. When your hashtag is a disaster, the trolls take over and use your hashtag against you. And you deserve it.
My Five Favorite Hashtag Fails – Enjoy All the #FAIL!
- #RedSkinsPride – The Redskins tried (unsicccessfully) to generate pride in their team (and extremely racist team name). Troll takeover
- #McDStories – McDonald’s tried to get people to share happy McFun stories with the hashtag #McDStories. Didn’t work out. Troll takeover.
- #susanalbumparty – Singer Susan Boyle’s people were trying to promote an album but ended up just promoting a ‘bum’
- #Clitfest – You wouldn’t normally think people could be this dumb, but obviously the people at the Chester Literary Festival were. They hopefully will use a different hashtag this year.
- #MotorCity – Somebody at Chrysler forgot they were tweeting for the company and dropped the F-bomb. Good luck on your next job!