Monday, December 3, 2012

Hashtag Blowback

A word to the wise: don't advertise on Twitter if you're promoting anything controversial. PRNewser's Patrick Coffee rounds up the latest case studies:

"When Mitt Romney attempted to use the #areyoubetteroff theme to push his message framing the President’s economic policies as failures, he encountered a significant amount of pushback from Obama supporters who turned the tag against him by answering “yes.” The White House has witnessed some of the same counter-messaging this time around [with #my2k]: On hearing about the messaging plans, conservative think tank, the Heritage Foundation, purchased a sponsored tweet that now sits atop the feeds of anyone searching for the Obama tag and links directly to an op-ed decrying tax increases. Others who oppose the president co-opted the tag to post contradictory opinions."

Addendum (12/13/2012):

Gil Rudawsky recaps other hashtag disasters:

"In the last year, we saw McDonald’s launch #McDstories hashtag to elicit heart-warming stories about Happy Meals. The effort attracted snarky tweets and McDonald’s detractors who turned it into a #bashtag to share their #McDHorrorStories.

"In another example, Internet pranksters hijacked Mountain Dew’s new soda naming contest by submitting a handful of tasteless suggestions, such as 'diabeetus,' 'gushing granny,' and 'Hitler did nothing wrong.'

"Even the media saw their attempts to create buzz get called out for shameless self-promotion. To draw attention to its magazine and news coverage, Newsweek created a #muslimrage hashtag, which the Muslim world took over and used to make fun of themselves, with tweets such as 'I’m having such a good hair day. No one even knows. #MuslimRage' or 'Lost your kid Jihad at the airport. Can’t yell for him. #MuslimRage.'