Twitter has undergone quite an evolution since it was launched in 2006, what with the community-generated addition of features like @ replies, reTweets and hashtags —each a helpful innovation that has made the platform more valuable for users . . . and brands.
As with any channel, however, each benefit must be carefully weighed against potential risks, and in many instances, the very things which make Twitter useful . . .
- Real-time conversations
- “Viral” spread of information
- Energized and engaged community
. . . can make it a bit of a stormy sea for marketers. Witness these recent hashtag-specific social media crises: the Starbucks #SpreadTheCheer tax snag, the almost legendary McDonalds #McDStories mess and the Skittles “Experience the Rainbow” kerfuffle. Whoops!
In each example, a well-meaning campaign got turned on its ear by Twitter users who not only exploited a gaping hole in the marketing strategy, but also took the company’s hashtag in directions marketers simply weren’t prepared for.
Does this mean brands shouldn’t use Twitter hashtags to start and participate in online conversations? Absolutely not! Does it mean that brands should be mindful of a few “dos” and “don’ts” when diving into the hashtag pool?
To help get you started on the right foot (or is that #rightfoot?), here are seven “best practice” tips for avoiding the perils of “bashtagging” with your Twitter marketing strategy: Continue reading