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The Internet is littered with apologies from companies whose social media marketing managers tried and failed to use trending topics to promote their businesses. In nearly every case, it’s because someone at the company was not actually listening. Some weren’t listening to their own customers. Some weren’t listening to the news. Some weren’t paying attention to the larger world. Taking a look at some of those #socialmediafails makes it easy to illustrate the best ways to use social media and blog marketing to promote your business online.

Always Look Before You Leap

Trending hash tags often represent an opportunity to raise the visibility of your tweets and posts – but if you’re not careful, the attention you attract may be the wrong kind. Take, for example, the UK boutique that decided to take advantage of the trending #Aurora to promote one of their dresses – without, apparently, checking to find out that the tag was trending because of the mass shooting at a theater in Aurora, CO. Crafting tweets and posts around trending topics and tags is a good way to raise your business profile – just make sure you know why it’s trending before jumping or you may end up making a huge misstep.

Edgy Is Cool – But Know Where the Edge Is

Many companies – particularly those aimed at young folks – try to be hip by using edgy humor, which is fine, until you step over the edge into offensive and tasteless. That’s what happened when a London airport included a photo of a crashed plane in its tweet promising that planes don’t slide off their runways. The post crossed the line for many people, especially when it was revealed that the photo was from a crash that had cost the life of a 6-year-old boy. Humor and edginess can help craft your brand and get your posts shared and retweeted – just be sure your social media manager understands the difference between edgy and offensive.

Sometimes No Promotion is the Best Marketing

Sometimes the very best thing a company can do with a trending hash tag is to use it – with no promotional aim whatsoever. If you choose to acknowledge a local or national event using a trending hash tag, use good judgment. Offer sympathy, acknowledge loss or extend congratulations because it’s the right thing to do – and don’t foul it up with tone-deaf self-promotion. One Massachusetts restaurant got this exactly right when they used a trending hash tag to reach out to the local community. During widespread power outages following a blizzard, the popular eating spot tweeted out an offer of free hot meals to nearby shut-ins without power and attached a local trending hash tag to make sure their offer was seen.

Social media promotion is an important promotional tool for any local business. Check out our blog marketing and social media marketing packages to find out how we can help you maximize your business visibility without increasing your risk exposure.

This post was written by

Chris Robertson – who has written posts on Website Promotion Strategy.
I have been doing SEO for 15yrs now! Chris Robertson

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