HashTag Attacks (HashTagBombs)

HashTag Attacks (HashTagBombs) – Simply Bad Marketing


Recently the weekly Twitter-Chat I co-host, #SocialChat, started trending on Twitter. While this made myself and co-host Michelle Stinson-Ross happy, we were surprised by one of the consequences.

Hashtag SocialChat is Trending

We knew #SocialChat had become very popular when various people started leveraging the #SocialChat HashTag to reach our audience with regular tweets and not just during our weekly chat. This initially caught us us by surprise but we quickly realized it was a good thing.

Next came sponsored tweets on the HashTag. While being a bit annoying to our chat regulars, it’s another sign that your TwitterChat has arrived as brands begin targettng your audience. Of course we wish we could get a small percentage of the fee Twitter charges these companies for the content we generate, but then again we’re not paying Twitter for the platform.

It gets to be too much when various people start blindly tweeting on any trending HashTag and often using multiple HashTags that had nothing in common to promote something completely unrelated to the tags being used. This started happening this week on the #SocialChat HashTag.

Hashtag Attack/bomb


And there were more:


Hashtag bomb Tweet


Hashtag Tweet3


This last tweet, took you to a questionable picture of a Instagram screen grab that was posted on Twitter. Not pornographic but leaving you with the question why would you want someone want to share it, let alone anyone want to see it. Michelle and I both reported this one to Twitter as spam.

It was a good thing these spammy posts happened at the end of the chat. If they had occurred during the chat, all the collective particpants would have submitted these accounts to Twitter as Spammers. With that many reports, odds are that Twitter would have suspended the accounts thus rendering them useless. This risk is something to consider if you plan on jumping on a trending HashTag without researching what that tag is all about. Your “so-called” clever social marketing plan might just get you or your client kicked off Twitter.

If you’re smart and want to take advantage of a trending HashTag like #SocialChat, do your homework and create this sort of tweet:

Hashtag Leveraging

The link on the other end of this tweet  contained content which was appropriate and beneficial for the #SocialChat audience. And despite this person never ever having participated in SocialChat, he did provide something of value and interest and easily avoided being called a Twitter Spammer.

The lesson here for online communities is the same as for real life communities. You don’t interrupt the conversation with irrelevant and non-related information. If you do, people will think your a fool or worse, completely irrelevant and useless, and you’ll be banned from all parties that they can influence.


Alan K'necht

Alan is a founding partner at Digital Always Media. His focus is on Digital Analytics and Social Media Marketing. Alan's goal "To help business maximize their return of digital marketing by ensuring management knows the data they're receiving is accurate and that their team knows how apply this knowledge correctly.

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