This is Why It’s Important to READ Hashtags Before Posting

I’ve written about major social media fails before; no matter how high-profile they are when they occur, they don’t seem to be teaching those working in SMM the lessons that they should be learning. Whether it is a matter of making sure you’re not logged into your company’s account when posting to Twitter, or being careful to not accidentally share a NSFW pic a customer accidentally tweeted you, there’s some very basic, but often overlooked, safety measures that social media managers can put into place to avoid extreme public embarrassment.

Granted, I understand why these things happen– the real-time nature of social media, relatively a newer concept in digital marketing, means that two possibilities are always lingering:

  1. The potential to make a mistake.
  2. The potential for that mistake, once made, to be seen by many thousands before being noticed internally.

Again, taking certain safety measures can help social media managers avoid unfortunate faux pas– like, I dunno– taking the time to actually read hashtags before posting

Yesterday, following the social media uproar over TMZ releasing the video of Ray Rice going UFC-style on his then-fiancee in an elevator (which resulted in Rice being dropped by the Baltimore Ravens), the hashtag #WhyIStayed began trending on Twitter. The topic itself, a very serious one, featured women (and some men…let’s not be sexist) sharing stories of why they stayed in abusive relationships.

The social media manager for DiGiorno, to his/her dismay, didn’t realize that’s what the hashtag was about (reportedly….I mean, how can any of us know?), and took the opportunity to post the following:


  Whoops. To be fair, DiGiorno did realize their mistake, not only posting a public apology to Twitter, but later, taking the time to answer outraged tweeters one-by-one.  

I do commend them for their response, and, as AdAge pointed out today, they didn’t freak out and jettison the account after realizing the error– but, a simple peek into the hashtag, before posting, would have avoided the issue all-together.

Pretty easy, right? A simple skim of the hashtag, and the posts therein, and this would have never happened.

Let that be a lesson to us all (one that will go largely ignored, probably, and we’ll likely see a repeat of in the future)– read, people. A little investigation goes a long way.