Hashtags are an excellent way of gaining attention for your brand or your product. Recognised on all the main social media platforms, they allow users to interact with your brand and others following the hashtag. Great…so what could possibly go wrong? In this article I’m going to tell you about 3 famous hashtag fails and how you can avoid your brand becoming a victim.
Rick Wion, Head of Social Media at McDonalds said: “While #meetthefarmers was used for the majority of the day and successful in raising awareness of the Supplier Stories campaign, #mcdstories did not go as planned. We quickly pulled #mcdstories and it was promoted for less than two hours.” However, hashtags have a habit of sticking around and now in 2016, customers still use #McDStories to tweet their general dissatisfaction with their meal or brand experience.
Lesson: Once you put a hashtag out into the Twittersphere you can lose control over it. The big problem with this hashtag is that it uses the brand name. Be careful about using hashtags that contain your brand name as they may haunt you forever!
- The Victorian Taxi Association
Lesson: If you invite feedback then be aware that you will get it. Unless your brand is squeaky clean, the chances are it will be the unhappy users who will adopt the hashhtag. Better to invite feedback via your website or email where you can manage it privately.
- Ask SeaWorld
Always gage public sentiment before launching a hashtag. A simple search on the hashtag #BlackFish or #SeaWorld would have shown the park’s social team that public opinion was not in their favour. Inviting questions at a time when sentiment is against you is very ill advised.
I hope you enjoyed reading 3 hashtag fails and what you can learn from them. Before I go, I will remind you to get the spelling and format of your hashtag right too. Remember singer Susan Boyle’s album party hashtag #susanalbumparty … poor Susan… don’t let it be you!
By Charli Day, Freelance Blogger