Hashtag marketing campaigns are all the rage. Everyone uses hashtags gratuitously these days – even your grandmother can probably get into it, since it makes it more fun to share posts and images on social media. However, before creating a hashtag for a campaign, you should be sure that your message is mostly positive or else you might end up like these hashtag campaign fails.
In Australia, the coal industry wanted to become hip and modern, so they came up with the hashtag #coalisamazing. However, in reality, most people thought coal was not really all that amazing because it gives people lung disease and causes pollution. This led to a lot of usage of the tweet that was unintended by the creators, by environmentalists and activists. The creators of the campaign were still happy, because the outrage gave them a lot of reach.
#McDStories was a hashtag that McDonald’s tried in 2012. They wanted users to share their fun and family oriented stories about their experiences at McDonald’s fast food restaurants. However, more people used it to share their bad stories about the brand involving food poisoning – so much so that the brand pulled the hashtag after just 2 hours!
Along the same lines, an #AskJPM chat was scheduled for Twitter at the same time the company was being investigated by the government. It only took 6 hours from when the chat was announced for the negative comments to overwhelm the people who were planning it, so much that they cancelled it right then.
So, hashtags are great, but they can also be used against your brand. Know when it’s time to pull the plug, and try to think of a hashtag from all angles before you come up with your next hashtag campaign.
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