Hoppin' on #Hashtags: Don't be THAT guy

In a rush to rise above and be noticed in a sea of social media posts, some brands engage in what I like to call "#hashtag hoppin'".

#Hashtag hoppin' usually occurs when an inexperienced social media manager (or an unpaid intern) sees a popular hashtag on Twitter, or any popular event/holiday, and does his or her very best to quickly twist it into some form of product placement. This happens without said manager or intern actually looking at the hashtag or researching the holiday to make sure it's not about something that they DEFINITELY don't want their company involved in.

Lets look at two of the most inappropriate and embarrassing hashtag hoppin' offenses that I've seen this year. Get ready to gasp, scoff, and face palm:

*Face palm* The struggle? And looking fly? No sir or madame. No. Unless you're selling economic and social freedom for Black Americans do not use Martin Luther King to peddle your products. Especially not your black products (at a discounted rate). This should be a no-brainer. The holiday is meant to honor his legacy, acknowledge his sacrifices, and take note of the work that still needs to be done. Not sell black soap. See more terrible MLK tweets and posts here.

#WhyIStayed was a hashtag for women to empower each other and share their stories of domestic abuse. Digiorno pizza used the hashtag to distastefully sell their frozen pizzas. Unlike the Martin Luther King Jr. sale this blunder was obviously a mistake, but a very hurtful one, with DiGiorno admitting they hadn't checked the hashtag and apologizing profusely.

So my advice on #hashtags? Always look before you leap, and ponder before you post. Oh, and when in doubt....say nothing!

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