Who’s afraid of a little ol’ hashtag? It’s just a teeny, tiny hash mark followed by a word or phrase. What harm can it actually cause? If you’re singer Robin Thicke, you aren’t asking these questions.
I’m not sure how this would be possible, but if you don’t know who Robin Thicke is or why you should care about this story allow me to get you up to speed. Thicke is a pop singer and the son of the amazing Alan Thicke (Hello, Growing Pains was the dopest). Robin released a song called “Blurred Lines” in 2013 – it’s a pretty awesome jam. He then exploded all over the tabloids after performing with Miley Cyrus at the MTV Music Video Awards. He’s currently on tour promoting an album that is ENTIRELY about his separation from his estranged wife who he admits to stepping out on. And now there’s this drama with a small hashtag. The dude cannot catch a break.
Thicke sat down for an interview with the cable network VH1 this week and someone on the production or marketing team decided to let viewers ask the questions via Twitter by using the Twitter hashtag #AskThicke. The hashtag itself seems harmless enough, but it lead to a massive Twitter troll fest and with some pretty hilarious results.
Here are some of the best tweets from the #AskThicke Q & A. The questions started out light and fluffy:
— Tim Summers (@Tim_Summers) July 1, 2014
Why would I need to #AskThicke? I know he wants it.
— John (@JohnTheSecular) July 1, 2014
And then more of the serious questions took the feed over.
Yikes. This incident is proof that one hashtag can turn into a giant monster and eat your face off. Here are some things to consider before you choose a hashtag for your social media marketing campaign.
While the #AskThicke hastag was extremely relevant to the topic, it just wasn’t appropriate for this person. If anyone in the PR or marketing departments had done their job, they might have been able to figure out that Thicke is controversial with many groups of people. He has offended many women across the world. It seems that alone would have them rethinking the hashtag choice. It’s important to be aware of all possible senarios when choosing the appropriate tag for your posts.
Learn from Others’ Mistakes
Coke has done it. McDonald’s has done it. There are many big brands who have made bad hashtag choices that lead to Twitter firestorms. A little research on social media foibles, and you will be learning from their mistakes.
Ask Someone First
Still unsure whether this well crafted hashtag is a good one? Ask! It’s that simple. Find someone you know who’s a Twitter or marketing whiz and get their opinion.
A hashtag is no small thing. Afterall, tweets that include one hashtag are 2 times more likely to be retweeted and engagement increases by 21 percent with the use of 2 hashtags. Sit down and really consider how your hashtag will work with your social media campaign for the better. Keep the hashtag clear and straight-forward so that people can find it, thus driving traffic to your site.
Your turn! What types of hashtags do you use for your business?