Social media networks have made a big push to capitalize on World Cup fever, and they’ve encouraged businesses to do the same by investing in social ads and posting about the World Cup. While the hashtags are no doubt popular, I think brands and organizations that are not directly affected by the World Cup should avoid using them to drive attention to their brand.

Why? Let Delta be your guide.

During yesterday’s intense United States vs. Ghana match, Delta Tweeted an image that represented the nation of Ghana with a giraffe. Unfortunately for Delta, there are no giraffes in that region of Africa. Even more unfortunately for Delta, the Tweet they posted to apologize for their earlier giraffe gaffe had a typo. This only served to keep the online buzz going about the incident.

While Delta is not a sponsor of the World Cup or the U.S. National Men’s Soccer Team, it’s appropriate for the airline to Tweet about the game since it likely flew thousands of soccer fans to Brazil for the World Cup. However, the airline should have researched the countries it would be Tweeting about—especially when its fleet serves that country.

Organizations understandably want to voice their patriotism, especially during quadrennial events like the Olympics or the World Cup. But during these events, many fans just want to enjoy the game and Tweet along with other sports fans. Brand posts will at best be viewed as white noise during the games and at worst will result in a loss of followers because the posts will be viewed as spam—especially if the organization doesn’t have its facts correct.

If you’re a bar that’s broadcasting the game, by all means share pictures of fans celebrating or information about reservations or specials. If you’re a sponsor of the team, share exclusive content about the team and how you’ve helped them reach this world stage. If you’re a sporting goods store, share content about the best way to choose soccer gear. But if you’re nowhere near the soccer universe, it’s not worth the risk of alienating your fans or followers to capture eyeballs on an unrelated hashtag or trend.

Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments.