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Content Marketing Social Media Social Media Marketing

Hashtag Fails

August 10, 2015
Hashtag Fail

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


DiGiorno Pizza

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


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


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.




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


Kenneth Cole

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


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


Halifax Metro Transit

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


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


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.


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
Content Marketing Social Media Social Media Marketing

Which social media platforms should you be using?

July 28, 2015
Social Media Marketing

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:


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 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 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 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 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 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+ 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.


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
Blogging Content Marketing Social Media Marketing

How to Create Engaging Blog Posts

July 8, 2015

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
Content Marketing Social Media Social Media Marketing

Instagram and Marketing

June 18, 2015

Most people overlook the potential of using Instagram to promote their brand. You can post pictures of anything that is related to your brand which has the potential to strengthen your brand’s image.

Let’s look at a restaurant for example. You could post pictures of the interior of the restaurant, pictures of popular meal choices, or specials of the day. If celebrities come to dine, snap a picture (with their permission) and upload it. Or even snap pictures of everyday diners and ask them for their usernames so you can tag them in the pictures. You could post pictures of the staff out in the community helping out, or even of them out buying fresh ingredients for the days’ menu.

The list is endless on what you can take photo’s of and post, it’s up to your creativity and imagination to come up with different ideas that will engage followers and encourage new followers.

Here are a few things to know about Instagram and how to make it work for you:

Instagram is visual

As the old saying goes ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’. Our brains are mostly visual so we tend to remember more of what we see rather than what we read or hear. Looking through pictures on Instagram is effortless and many people check it out during their free time.


Hastags are important to each post because they allow users to find your pictures in a search as well as placing the image into different categories. This in turn will increase your audience by making it easy for people to discover you and become new followers.

Tagging ability

Along with each picture you can tag people and add a location. Going back to my example of the restaurant, this allows followers to know the restaurant location as well as where you are when out and about working with the community.


Instagram allows you to interact with your audience. People can both ‘like’ and comment on your pictures. So it is important to monitor people’s comments and respond back. Don’t forget to include their name in your response so that they will receive a notification of your mention.

Contest tagging

Because Instagram is so easy to use and has over 300million users, it’s worth considering incorporating Instagram into your next contest. It is as easy as getting people to upload an image on a particular subject that links to your business and asking them to tag you in it. Not only does it get people interested in your brand, they have fun in the process.

Instagram is linked to other Social Media Platforms

It is easy to link your Instagram account to both your Facebook page and Twitter account, taking the effort out of having to update all three accounts. Or if you prefer different content on each you can easily promote your Instagram account on either of the two of them to attract more Instagram followers.

Content Marketing Social Media

Combining Content Marketing and Social Media

May 10, 2015
Content Marketing

The way brands and products are marketed these days has changed a lot since people turned to digital methods rather than the previous traditional forms of advertising. It is now possible for consumers to skip through advertising, making it harder for advertisers to reach or connect with their intended audience. This has forced advertising and marketing agents to find other ways to get their message out. A way to do this is via content marketing.

What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is a way of promoting your brand and educating consumers in a way that motivates them to learn more, rather than be turned away from annoying advertisements. It is a different approach that encourages consumers to be more interactive with your website as well as enticing them to keep returning. It is important to keep existing customers happy and keep them engaged as they will in turn help you by sharing your content with others. Word of Mouth (WOM) is now more important than it was before, because consumers have the power to share and like articles with others that are linked to their social media accounts. This in turn generates more traffic, or visitors in other words, to your website.

Why is traffic important?

Traffic to your website is important as it increases brand exposure and has the potential to increase sales. Website traffic helps build an online community allowing a higher exposure rate for any marketing campaigns you create in the future. As Ortigas puts it, ‘It doesn’t matter if you have the best website if nobody knows about it.’ In other words, if you spend all that money on an amazing website, you will want as many people as you can to use it.

Using Social Media to Increase Traffic.

One of the most effective ways to increase traffic to a website is with the use of social media. The hype of social media only continues to grow, so why not use it to your advantage. Users are spending an increasingly amount of time on social media so it makes sense to attract new users in from where they spend most of their time.

Let the Content do the Work.

If you continually create engaging content, you will soon find that consumers will keep returning to your website. Combine it with marketing your content on relevant social media platforms to target potential consumers, you will entice users to visit your site, and you will soon see a dramatic increase in your traffic flow.