THE BLOG

25
May

Hashtag Fails

We all know the importance of adding hashtags to each post. If you want your post to stand a chance amongst the millions of other posts, then you need to add relevant hashtags. However, it is extremely important to do a little research beforehand to see if it is already being used for something else. Or if the letter combination can be interpreted another way that what you intend. As you will learn from the following major hashtag fails, a little prior research can save you a lot of embarrassment and backlash.

DiGiorno Pizza

#WhyIStayed

#WhyIStayed

Originally used by women on Twitter to share their experiences of domestic violence supporting Janay Palmer, after a video of Ray Rice punching her went viral. DiGiorno Pizza tweeted “#WhyIStayed You had pizza” without first doing a little research. They quickly learned their mistake and the post was deleted in minutes. They then publically apologized announcing that it was an honest and stupid mistake, as well as sending out personal apology tweets to everyone that they had offended.

Sephora Sydney Store Opening

#CuntdownToBeauty

When Beauty retailer Sephora opened its first store in Australia they received more media attention than they imagined, but not for the right reasons. Their intention was #CountdownToBeauty but with a small and unfortunate spelling error the tweet was #CuntdownToBeauty instead. Here is a lesson on proof reading everything before posting, as missing one small letter can create such a different word.

Susan Boil Album Party

#Susanalbumparty

Another unfortunate hashtag fail was from Susan Boyle’s PR team when they created the hashtag #Susanalbumparty to promote the launch party of her new album. A quick read spells out something completely different from its intended message and followers were invited to her ‘Bum Party’ it seems. After becoming a laughing stock online this was quickly changed to #SusanBoylesAlbumParty.

Entenmann’s

#NotGuilty

#notguilty

Enternmann’s tweeted “Who’s #notguilty about eating all the tasty treats they want?!” right when social media was flooded with angry tweets over the Casey Anthony ‘not guilty’ murder verdict. They soon deleted the Tweet with a sorry message, claiming they were not referring to the trial in their tweet.

Kenneth Cole

#Cairo

#Cairo

Kenneth Cole himself made the mistake of tweeting an insensitive joke about the revolution in Egypt at a time where #Cairo was a trending hashtag in reference to what was happening in Egypt.

The Hobbit Movie in Switzerland

#Hobbitch

With the premier of the new Hobbit movie in Switzerland they decided to add their country code of ‘CH’ to the end of ‘hobbit’, which unfortunately no one bothered to realize the double meaning and insult they were advertising.

Halifax Metro Transit

#DoItOnTheBus

#DoItOnTheBus

Halifax Metro Transit’s slogan “Do it on the Bus” was meant to be an entertaining campaign to win back commuters following the previous years’ transit strike. Although the Director Eddie Robar admits they were after a “provocative and cheeky approach,” he probably didn’t expect it to go completely in the direction of sexual innuendos.

Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s Death

#Nowthatchersdead

Although this is not a hashtag fail from a particular country, it’s worth a mention as the message has different meaning in different countries. When former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher died, people took to social media to mourn her with memories of her life in politics with the hashtag #Nowthatchersdead. This soon spread rumors across the United States that Cher had passed away instead.

Chester Literary Festival

#CLitFest

When promoting the Chester Literary Festival they decided to shorten the name of the event and create an easy and unique hashtag, unfortunately for them, the shortened hashtag is also an abbreviation of another word already. Who knows, maybe they were trying to liven up a boring festival and create some excitement.

Conclusion

Take a few moments to do a quick search on each hashtag you intend to use. And have a few different people check it out to grab their interpretation. This could save your brand a lot of embarrassment.

Image Source: VectorStock
15
May

Which social media platforms should you be using?

There are so many choices of social media platforms available today, so which ones should you is using to promote your brand?

Firstly, you need to think about your target audience and research which platforms they are currently using. Then, think about your brand and what type of content you intend to promote, as each platform is better for sharing different types of content over other platforms.

Here are the top 6 choices:

Facebook

Most companies should have a Facebook page. Facebook supports all types of content and allows you to display information about your brand including a call to action button linking back to your website. If your organization is new and your website is still under construction, then make sure you at least set up a Facebook page. There are 1.44 billion people on Facebook so it makes sense that this should be your first stop to start promoting your brand. Once you have set up your page and added some initial content, you can start promoting your page to generate likes.

Promoting your page and brand on Facebook is easy and direct. First, you select your target audience, which is based on location, age, gender and interests. Then, you select your daily budget that you wish to pay, and finally the duration of your ad. This is great as it allows you targeted advertising at a price you can afford.

Creating a Facebook page is important for SEO as Facebook is the second most visited website after Google. Which means it has a high ranking in search engines, so why not take advantage of this and let Facebook do some free promoting of your brand on your behalf.

Twitter

Twitter as you probably already know, lets users tweet a maximum 140 characters per tweet. So this limits what people can post, but at the same time with over 500 million tweets per day, 140 characters seems fitting.

Twitter is good for brands who have a lot of content to post. It is easy to get lost in the noise on Twitter, so if you sign up for Twitter you need to commit to it and make a schedule to post regularly. It is ok to post the same tweets at various times of the day, but don’t overdo it. Twitter is great for tweeting articles related to your brand and getting conversations going on specific topics.

If you use Twitter make sure you include relevant hashtags in each tweet so your tweets can be easily found in a search. Twitter allows followers and consumers to stay in contact with you through conversational tweets, so make sure you keep an eye on your mentions and respond accordingly and quickly.

Another important point to add when adding hashtags, do your research before using a hashtag to see what others are using it for already. You don’t want your brand to join the list of fails like Entenmann’s and DiGiorno Pizza that incorrectly used trending hashtags without first researching them. Or brands like JPMorgan and McDonalds who didn’t put enough market research into creating a promotional hashtag and quickly realized their idea of a positive promotion was either insensitive or an opportunity for unhappy customers to voice their complaints.

Instagram

Instagram is based on images and is perfect for brands of physical products. It has over 200 million users so it’s a good platform for brands to share images of their products. Instagram allows users to add up to 30 hashtags per post, but it is recommended to use between 3 and 10 hashtags per image, without over doing it. Again, use relevant and trending hashtags to make sure your images are searchable. This will result in more likes and eventually more followers.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is better suited for businesses who share written content like blog posts. LinkedIn is the professional version of Facebook with over 364 million users.

LinkedIn now allows users to customize the look of the page by changing the header image. You can share your company’s story, showcase products, advertise career opportunities and engage with followers.

Pinterest

Pinterest has nearly 50 million users with 71% being female. Its unique format allows users to bookmark images and content from the web by creating different pinboards. Unlike other social media platforms, Pinterest doesn’t use hashtags; instead users create boards under different categories that are searchable by others. They can follow other users’ boards that are of interest to them. This is where brands can benefit from Pinterest, you can create pinboards with images you directly upload or pin images found on the web. Once a board is created other users can then repin your pins as well as follow your boards.

It is recommended to pin between 5 and 30 pins per day, scattered out throughout the day, if you have enough content.

YouTube

YouTube is the largest video-sharing platform at the moment, so if your brand has video content, chances are you will be using YouTube. Google owns YouTube, so another reason to choose this video-sharing platform over another.

If you have created a series of videos, you can link them together by creating a channel and add YouTube cards throughout your video which allow the viewer to click directly to your website. YouTube cards can include an image, title, link and a call to action button. After you have uploaded your video to YouTube, it can be easily embedded into your own website.

Google+

Google+ is newer to the scene, but a definite must for your business in order to rank high in Google searches. Its clean style is great for all types of content from images to written content to linking your YouTube videos. It also allows for hashtags, which is extremely important in order for your content to be searchable through search engines.

Analytics

The most important benefit from using social media to promote your brand is that each platform comes with their own analytics that allows you to monitor the activity of each post, tweet or pin. You can track which posts were more popular than others and at what times of the day generate more interest. There are many recommendations online that tell you which times of the day and which days of the week are the most popular to post content, but by monitoring your followers’ activity gives you a more accurate and measurable idea that you can use to your advantage to get the most out of your posts.

Image Source: VectorStock
09
May

How to Create Engaging Blog Posts

Every second there are thousands of blog posts being posted online, so what makes someone engage with a particular post over another? Through all the online noise, you want to make sure your blog gets the attention it deserves. You wrote it for a reason, you want it to be seen. So follow these simple tips and guidelines to make your content stands out from the overcrowded streams.

Create Interesting Content

People are not going to waste their time reading your blog posts if it is not of interest to them. Create content that is useful, educating or entertaining for readers. If your intent is to educate or provide information for others, make sure that you know what you are talking about. Do your research and provide information that is correct.

Keep in mind Quality is always better than Quantity.

Become an Expert in your Field

Research, research, research. Read other people’s blogs on similar topics, learn from them, the more you read, the more you will learn, and this will come across in your writing. Keep up to date with the latest trends and facts. Information is always changing, so by keeping up to date with the latest knowledge allows you to stay ahead of the game, and you can share your knowledge with others through your blog.

Find your writing style

Think about your writing style and how you want to come across to others through your writing. Do you want to write from a professional standpoint? Think about your target audience and what is relevant to them. What is your subject matter, as this will also determine what voice you are trying to have. Think about your approach, are you informing, sharing experiences or creating conversation?

Use Images

Humans are visual creatures. So always add an image or more if you can to draw in readers and encourage them to read what you have written. Find an image that is relevant and of good quality. This helps when you want to add your blog post to social media. Using an image will help your tweet or Facebook post stand out from the rest.

Use Headings

Breaking your content up into sections with headings makes it less overwhelming for readers. If they come to your post and see pages of chunked content they may feel overwhelmed and not read any of it. So break it up into sections with headings. This also allows readers who are pressed for time to scan your post for snippets of information that they are interested in without having to read everything. Or, after scanning your headings they will be more intrigued to read your whole post as they know ahead of time that you will be covering a list of topics that will be of interest to them.

Leave it Overnight

After you have finished writing, leave it a day and then come back and proof read it. If you proof read it and send it straight away you’ll have a higher chance of missing errors. You will find proof reading it a day later is easier to spot mistakes.

Write regularly

Try to write on a regular basis. Think of a realistic schedule and stick to it. If once a week is feasible, then set aside time each week to write, and try to publish to a regular timeline. So if you plan to write one article per week, try to post on the same day of the week each week and at the same time. Once people start following you, they will know when to return back to you to read more. The more confident you become with your writing and subject the easier it will be for you to write more on a regular basis.

Post to Relevant Social Media Platforms

Once you have published your blog, post a link to relevant social media platforms. Twitter is the best platform for nearly any blog post, followed by Facebook. If your blog is relevant for LinkedIn then you can also post it there. If you don’t already have a Google+ account, now is a good time to create one, as anything you post to your Google+ page will rank higher in Google.

Follow these simple tips and your blog posts will have a better change to survive and get the attention you are after.

Image source: Vector Stock