Whether you’re a football fan or not, you’ve probably heard about the resurfaced incident between Ray Rice and his then-fiancé (now wife) last February. After last night’s news on the Raven player’s indefinite ban from the NFL, a significant hashtag cropped up on Twitter. DiGiorno Pizza was one of many tweeting the tag.

#WhyIStayed is predominantly used by victims of domestic violence. For example, “I believe in the man I wanted him to become… not the man he was. #whyistayed” DiGiornio’s tweet: “#WhyIStayed You had pizza.”

Don’t gasp so quickly! The person behind the account quickly admitted that the tag was not meant to be associated with the “trending topic,” and quickly came forward, hands held high!
Rather than justifying the tag, DiGiorno took blame for a quick cleanup. There has been a sincere apology to nearly every reaction; “This was a rare mistake — I always check before posting, and for some reason I didn’t last night. I’m so sorry.” All this by one person, too. Not a team or a handful of people at cubicles with fancy Twitter replying software, but one person speaking for a well-known company! Then you have Adam Richman…

Just a few months ago, Adam Richman, former host of Food Network’s Man Vs. Food, received a wave of reactions for tagging a personal Instagram photo with #Thinspiration, associated with unhealthy weight loss and self image. Richman claims he didn’t know the predominant meaning of the tag, and went on the harsh defense! He went so far as suggesting that one Instagram user kill herself. Let the head shaking begin.

Unfortunately, misusing a hashtag is a familiar topic in the ever expanding universe of social media. We understand that behind every post there’s a human, not a computer, so there’s room for mistakes. These incidents shouldn’t turn your business away from social media marketing, though!

Lesson Learned: Don’t overlook how easy it is to search any and every tag! It only takes a moment to plug it into your search engine, and you might learn something new!
There’s respect in humility, people!