Hot Hashtags

As a social media marketer, I am often frustrated by the lack of thought that goes into sending a tweet. Yes, I know we are all human and we make mistakes. But, there are specific instances where one more click to check the facts of a hashtag would have saved a brand from a PR nightmare they had to apologize for later.

Of course, I am talking about acting too soon on trending hashtags.

In that little box on our desktop Twitter feed, we see it every day: TRENDING. And as eager marketers, we want to be the first to send a witty tweet about a trending topic in an effort to go viral.

But, I bet if we asked Digiorno about #WhyIStayed, Kenneth Cole about #Cairo, or Entenmann’s about #notguilty they would say their quick reactions were not worth any kind result they could have hoped for in the end.

That’s why when I was on Twitter about a month ago and saw this screenshot below, I got excited.

Twitter Trending Hashtags Screenshot

Twitter was giving me a small description about the hashtag and WHY it was trending. Granted, all it takes is a click on the hashtag, read a couple of tweets, and you would get a general understanding of what the hashtag is about…but, for some brands that proved to be a little too much work.

Therefore, I was excited about seeing this little summary about what these hashtags mean for the sake of brands everywhere. It means that Twitter was trying to make it even harder for hurried social marketers to mess things up!

Though much to my disappointment, as I clicked around on Twitter, the summaries disappeared! And not since November 5, 2014 (as you can tell by the trending 5th of November) have I seen these summaries again.

I’m pretty surprised this wasn’t a permanent feature. More and more Twitter has been adding Facebook-like features, (profile layouts, buy buttons, and rumored algorithms to name a few) and since Facebook has adopted trending topics and includes descriptions already – I thought it was just another feature to add to the list!

From Facebook:

Facbook Trending Hashtags Screenshot

Unfortunately, this just doesn’t seem to be the case on the desktop. And even though it made an appearance on mobile over the summer, it was only reported to be a test.

So why the hesitation, Twitter?

Don’t you think in conjunction with your auto-complete for trending hashtags it would make sense to let people know what they mean before tweeting them? Doesn’t seem like it would be a way to decrease confusion on the platform and make it a better gateway for informed conversation on a variety of topics?

Not to mention, for brands, it would boost engagement, keep PR nightmares at bay, and lead to a more educated Twitterverse.

In which case, we can only hope that this feature makes a comeback in 2015. But for now, as social marketers, we will have to do our due diligence, keep calm, and click on when deciding to add that quirky comment to that trending hashtag.

Have you seen Twitter summaries lately? Did you find them helpful? What benefits would you see for this feature in the future? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

About the Author: Deanna Zaucha is the Content Marketing Coordinator for Webs and Pagemodo, and also manages our social media presence. She can be found on a dance floor, or on her iPhone keeping up with trends in marketing and tech. Get more from Deanna on Pagemodo’s Blog and Twitter.

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