Deciding whether or not your business should use a trending hashtag to join in the Twitter conversation can be incredibly difficult. Although there are potential risks, often times it can also result in benefits, like gaining exposure to a larger target audience.
However, to make sure your business doesn’t come under fire when contributing to a trending hashtag, the two main things to think about are your target audience and your authenticity.
In order to help, we’ve listed the current top 5 trending hashtags and our advice to businesses on jumping in on that conversation.
As the hard weather caused by Cyclone Debbie’s aftermath continues to batter Queensland and some parts of New South Wales, people are using #BigWet to engage with all news-related posts and to share their own experiences. Browsing through posts, you will find users sharing images and pictures of the destruction that has been caused, and occasionally businesses have used the hashtag in order to relay information, such as the closure of their stores in affected areas.
Businesses that choose to engage with news topics must be wary of what they post. While many Twitter users are posting their own light-hearted content that is related to the event, a business doing the same thing may come across as insensitive. Therefore, it is recommended that if a business does post under #BigWet, it is best to provide support and well-wishes to those affected.
Currently in its fifth year, Mumbrella’s CommsCon is a popular event for public relations, social media and communications professionals, and anyone experimenting in owned and earned channels. #CommsCon is being used to share attendees experiences from the event, with users posting photos and videos of presentations that are being held, as well as sharing their own thoughts on presentation topics.
Contributing to conversations related to an event is not always easy. While attending businesses can share their experiences, those that do might find it difficult to make an effective contribution. However, there are some ways they can take part. For example, businesses could share an interesting or important piece of content that was shared at the event. Alternatively, a business might highlight the importance on a particular topic as a way of engaging and creating conversation with Twitter users.
Myriad is a technology and innovation event based in Queensland. Developed by some of the minds behind SXSW, the festival features guest speakers, technology displays, startup companies and keen investors on the lookout for the next big thing.
For events dedicated to new and innovative technology, businesses should focus on sharing content that is relevant to their industry. For instance, a PR company might share their excitement over the reveal of new social media tools, accompanied by the events associated hashtag (in this case, #Myriad2017). However, they would not necessarily comment on a topic that is irrelevant to their field, such as a new kitchen appliance.
In many past instances, hashtags have been used in order to raise awareness for a particular issue or cause. In this case, the BiTwitter hashtag is being used to bring awareness to the bisexual community, and to encourage individuals to be proud of their sexuality. This hashtag comes along after a recent talk by Amber Heard, who discussed how she was warned that going public about her sexuality would harm her career.
Businesses need to be cautious when contributing to trending conversations such as this. They should only share their support for those celebrating their sexuality. However, this comes at its own risk. If the business has not done this before, they may be criticised for trying to take advantage of a popular trend in order to attract attention for themselves. Because of this, businesses need to be supportive of similar causes on a regular basis in order to develop a positive reputation for themselves.
After hearing of the recent decision to cut Sunday penalty rates, 58-year old hotel cleaner Margarita Murray-Stark has travelled to Canberra in an attempt to confront Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Fuelled by a successful crowdfunding campaign, with over $20,000 in donations, Murray-Stark wants to hear Turnbull explain his support for cutting her pay in a face-to-face meeting. This has also resulted in a popular Twitter hashtag dedicated to spreading her message.
When commenting on campaigns such as this, businesses need to ensure that they do not appear disingenuous to the cause. Also, especially in this case, businesses should truly be aware of the purpose behind the trending campaign.
There are a variety of topics that trend on Twitter each and every day. Businesses need to be aware of how to effectively engage in conversations in order to avoid negative responses from those interested in the topics. With these previous examples, businesses could potentially avoid a backlash after a failed attempt to contribute to a popular trend on Twitter.
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