Recently, I realise that businesses are beginning to feel the importance of jumping onto the bandwagon of social media. Advertisements are everywhere -- Facebook, games, apps, etc.
Though I find some annoying, I appreciate that they are at least outright and straightforward with their agenda by shouting "buy my products".
But I think the situation might have gotten worse. I was chatting with my friend over the weekend and she said that she found out some companies are using hashtags and tags to increase product awareness.
Social media users would know what tagging and hashtagging are about, and I personally find them really useful as a means of organising similar content, which enhances online searches. And if you are good at tagging, it increases visibility of your content online.
Unfortunately, like many good things in life, they get abused. Search optimisation can be done in many ways, but some got greedy and decided to ride on trending tags online. For instance, they will promote their product, then include a trending hashtag which is absolutely irrelevant. Some might plea ignorance, like a British boutique that used #aurora as tagging.
#Aurora was trending because a massacre took place during the premiere of Dark Knight Rises in July 2012. The Celeb Boutique marketing team either did not bother checking on why the hashtag was trending, or were just being insensitive.
Even big brands like Gap can do wrong, "making use" of the Hurricane Sandy tragedy to promote their sale.
Another American brand Kenneth Cole made a similar mistake, using the hashtag #cairo to promote its Spring collection in 2011 just when Egypt was experiencing troubled times.
And the backlash:
While all these have been discussed, in the recent Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting tragedy, Kmart still did not learn a lesson. On the pretext of sending out condolences, they tagged #Fab15Toys, which referred to a toy-focused "Twitter party" they held previously.
Yes, you end up getting attention. But no, I don't think people will be spurred to buy your product. Stop hashjacking (hijacking popular hashtags) to promote your products. Though it is inevitable to start marketing online, basic etiquette is still greatly appreciated.
If you are still clueless, check out the 6 most irritating ways to use hashtags on twitter.
About the Author:
Sonamu tries to understand people but realises it gets more complicated when the platform of communication changes everyday.