Prevent Your Hashtag From Turning Into a Bashtag

April 8, 2014
A bashtag is described as a hashtag campaign that has transformed into a failed campaign. When a hashtag campaign draws the wrong social media users, people share the wrong ideas and provide bad impressions that may ruin a brand?s reputation and credibility. Some major companies have suffered having their hashtags turn into bashtags. Follow these rules to prevent the same mistake from happening to your campaign.

1. Sharing old news

Hashtags generally talk about new issues and controversies. When you make a hashtag that talks about a past event or old news, it is likely to coincide with an existing hashtag, using the same keywords but talking about a newer issue. You might give the wrong impression to social media users where they begin to share topics that are completely unrelated to your main issue or get negative responses for coming up with an old story. The objective is to keep news fresh and provide updates regularly.

2. Being socially insensitive

Think about how the hashtag or keywords may affect people living in a certain area or if there are social issues that may be brought up the wrong way. The hashtag #SochiProblems was created in lieu of the Winter Olympics held in Sochi, Russia. However, social media fans started to bash at Russia?s economic and social problems. Many users shared photos and tweets about the poor living conditions in the country and questioned why it even bothered to host the Olympics.

3. Too general

Be more specific when creating hashtags since there are thousands on social media sites. People should be able to differentiate it from others and address topics through your guidance and regular updates. The hashtag #AskJamesArthur was another hashtag fail in 2014 where the British X Factor winner initially intended to get closer to his fans and hopefully jumpstart his singing career. The problem started when online trolls started asking him random and senseless questions because of his generalized hashtag.

4. Avoid hate

Do not start hashtags that target a particular race, religious belief or political issue. There is a high chance that it will turn into a basthag and you can receive a lot of flak from social media users for starting it. Conversations should be kept light and as creator, you should cite the proper links and sources to support your statements and make the hashtag more credible. Discuss recent issues without starting any controversy which easily drives social media bashers.

5. Be careful about the keywords

Read the whole hashtag a few times before launching. The keywords put together at times may form a completely different one with another meaning. Some companies have suffered turning their hashtags into bashtags by failing to review all the hashtag words then creating a provocative term or statement from these. Learn from the mistakes of others in previous years and also address social media users in a respectful manner to avoid getting offensive tweets and comments. Identify and forge relationships with relevant users who can bring fresh and useful content.

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