#ChickenSandwichTwitter: When To Use a Trending Hashtag

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If you use Twitter, you probably saw the hashtag #ChickenSandwichTwitter trending last week. In case you missed it, here’s the summary: Chick-Fil-A tweeted about its chicken sandwich in a post that appeared to be a subtle dig at Popeye’s new (and very similar) chicken sandwich. Popeye’s, in response, tweeted out “Y’all okay?”

From there, the war was on. Wendy’s jumped in the mix, touting their original chicken sandwich as supreme. People across the Twitterverse tweeted out their support for their favorite chicken sandwich. And Boston Market, in a throw from left field, slammed Chick-Fil-A’s new mac and cheese.

What can we learn from #ChickenSandwichTwitter besides the fact that Americans have strong feelings about chicken sandwiches?

Well, we can learn a lot about when – and when not – to jump on a trending hashtag.

You should jump on a trending hashtag when it’s appropriate and relevant.

First, make sure you understand what the hashtag IS. Unfortunately the internet is not always a friendly place, and using a hashtag that’s associated with white nationalism or the like isn’t worth the extra Twitter traffic.

Some quick reading on #ChickenSandwichTwitter reveals a spirited and friendly debate over chicken sandwiches. It’s perfectly contentious, but not controversial.

Once you understand the hashtag, make sure the content you share is relevant. Your followers will see right through an attempt to pair an irrelevant hashtag with your unrelated content to get more likes. Below are some examples of trending hashtag use gone wrong. Clearly a selfie of a random man or some Christian inspiration have nothing to do with chicken sandwiches.

This doesn’t mean you can’t get creative, though. What do chicken sandwiches have in common with Pasco County Schools in Florida or the Houston Museum of Natural Science? At first glance, nothing. But both Pasco Count Schools and the Houston Museum of Natural Science found a way to get in on the debate and show their fun side.

The lesson here is that trending hashtags can be an amazing way to engage your Twitter following and add lightheartedness and humor to your feed. The catch is that the hashtag needs to be right for your business and your content needs to be right for the hashtag.

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