#HashTag Haters & Small Business

- March 27, 2012 2 MIN READ

Sometimes I look at my Twitter feed and the trending topics for the day and think “Sometimes we can all be the biggest bunch of arse holes” – Over the past few years Social Media has become a powerful tool, and more and more we are seeing displays of how this power can both make and break a person or business.

At the moment the hash tag #vilekyle is trending across Australia – as a daily listener to the show,  I certainly disagree with his words and actions last November, But what I don’t agree with is the hash tag hating that went on then and is going on now post the ACMA ruling. Sure, go ahead and disagree, voice your opinion on the topic, but why take things to that next level of ugliness, why attack another human personally? what is with the pack mentality? My Parents taught me two wrongs don’t make a right, and the movement to de-throne King Kyle via social media for not being a professional is hardly a professional movement itself.

You might remember earlier this month I made a song and dance over the State Governments decision on the cancellation of Small Business events – I joined in the hash tag #bringbackSMBevents and yes I personally attacked the office of the Small Business Minister etc – of course it was ok for me to have an opinion on the matter -that’s my right. But looking back I am actually embarrassed at the fact that I chose to use the hash tag to publicly take a swing at individuals within an organisation whom I had not spoke with personally.

Everyone loves to rant and everyone loves to join a bandwagon, which is why as start ups and small business owners we need to insure that we have processes and procedures in place for our business when it comes to social media.

The power of a twitter hash tag and it’s affect on business has been seen a lot in the last year,  you just have to take a look at the sponsorships that 2Dayfm lost or the Qantas campaigns last year – so are small businesses and start ups immune to hash tag haters? Nope. We are also the most vulnerable, we don’t have a huge cash flow and a PR Agency on hand to take care of the back lash, quite often it is something we have to deal with ourselves.

When you are starting a business these days you not only take financial, lifestyle and other major risks personally, we now have to think about our “social risks” – anything we say or do on our personal or public social media accounts can and will be immediately tied back to our brands. And a small brand can be taken down much faster than a big brand.