American Idol’s Twitter Hashtag Madness

Season 11 of American Idol has had the strongest Twitter presence, more than any other season. The live show contestants all have Twitter accounts (I’ve written here about the ill-thought out Twitter names) and hashtags are in strong use this year to tie themes together.

All well and good however the hashtags are being over-used, with a detriment to the marketing efforts of the American Idol social media team. Here are a few of the Twitter hashtags :

#AmericanIdol
#telljimmy
#60sOnIdol
#idol
#BritsOnIdol
#IdolMansion
#KrisAllenonIdol
#PartyRockingonIdol
#ColdplayOnIdol
#CarrieOnIdol

Out of all of these, and this isn’t a definitive list, the only hashtags required are #idol & #telljimmy.

#AmericanIdol is too long (13 characters) which takes a mighty chunk out of a 140 character limit, especially considering one may want their tweets to be retweeted.

#idol & #telljimmy are just right as #idol pools together everything about American Idol and #telljimmy, being a weekly segment, is ever present throughout the season.

But what are the rest of the hashtags about? Why not tie everything together with the one strong, short hashtag: #idol?

Why make viewers, and fans, remember & use hashtags that are going to have a short lifetime? Some of these only last one show e.g. #ColdplayOnIdol.

Why deprive the main hashtags a top trend ranking by using so many, short-lived hashtags?

Most viewers will be sat watching the show whilst using a pad or their cell phone to tweet – I doubt they appreciate having to type out new hashtags every week on their tiny keypads? Apps like Hootsuite save frequently used hashtags; Even more annoying that a viewer has to knock out a new hashtag and not be able to use one already saved.

Grand effort American Idol but some simple lessons need to be learnt for next year.

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