Exploitation of Hashtags by Brands

by - 07:54

Have you noticed many changes in the hash-tags off lately on Twitter? Over the time these hash-tags by the brands are misused for promotions or contests. As far as I can connect, they are used so that people or target audience can be associated with particular topic of discussion.

Brands started promoting the tweets with relevant hash tags which were mainly keywords with which people with common interest as that of that company can be identified. But yesterday I came across a weird trending hash-tag on twitter which was as long as a tweet. And this one is not the only one, brands are allowing the agencies or the in-house Social Media resource to play with the image by coming up with funny & irritating hash-tags.

It is extremely difficult to understand that renowned brands which have strict discipline on their offline communication can be so casual on their online part. Or is it that they feel that online audience is non-serious audience and they can be flexible in their approach?

Let us understand 5 Hash-tag etiquette from Marketing point of view:
  1. Is your hash-tag a keyword or a phrase which anyone will ever search for? Looking at the above images, no one would ever search for them. They are extremely inefficient hash-tags.

  2. Is the length of your hash-tag too long?  It takes too much effort to read words without any space in them. Many people get annoyed trying to read something like #happybirthdayselenagomezweloveyou. If something like this is done by a brand, like many examples shown above, someone or the other will just go ahead and make fun or tweet about how this hash-tag is a disaster or bad use of Social Media. 

  3. Does your hash-tag or your tweets look like spams? Twitter recommends using no more than two in your tweets. You only have 140 characters to work with in the first place. Making it look like #Follow #us #to #get #attractive #prizes would never work in your favor.

  4. Is your hash-tag too difficult to understand? If yes, then it will never interest the audience, forget the responses. How many of us can understand #UOATIMD, yes it is difficult and seems to fit a sentence but it is a movie – Once upon a Time in Mumbai Doobara. Make the hash-tags relevant for people to engage with your brand.

  5. Is your hash-tag very common? Next time your agency brings a contest with a hash-tag you have already used in past or #ReplaceMovieNameWith, time to bring in a new agency or new SM managers. Be innovative in your approach.
If you are a Brand Manager, Social Media Manager or an Account Manager, keep in mind how people would think about your brand when they see such bad hash-tags  Over exploiting them could be bad for the brand image!

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