Marketwired Blog

The Perils of a Successful Hashtag



shutterstock_160975910Every day, there’s another company that finds itself in some kind of digital marketing and communications nightmare.

On several occasions, we’ve posted about the perils and how to avoid them through strategy and honesty.

Most recently, we wrote about the importance of training and overseeing when it comes to social media teams within companies, and every week it seems more and more valid.

One of the most prominent U.S. financial organizations is J.P. Morgan, which found itself in a precarious and perilous situation earlier this month.

It was all because of a great tactic for what they were calling “a Twitter takeover”, using the hashtag #AskJP.

The concept was simple, amidst government investigations, they wanted to use Twitter to connect with the public and answer questions as honestly as possible.

It’s hard not to tip your hat to J.P Morgan, since it would have been easier to hide. To take to social media and open yourself to  criticism or negativity is admirable.

Of course, the tactical results were less than favourable. Many people used the hashtag to ask  probing, pointed and even sarcastic questions about the perceived lives that J.P Morgan has adversely affected.

For large companies that are active in the digital world, the lesson is that a hashtag, while a tool to achieve popularity,could be used against you. It means you need a plan to remedy the situation.

J.P. Morgan’s idea was solid and the execution appeared to work but the result fell short. This is part of managing an online reputation and how it is linked to what is happening in the offline world.

While there are perils involved with creating a hashtag, it’s a strategy that can work but you have to prepared for how the hashtag could be used. Sometimes, a successful hashtag is more than we asked for.

Once again, training would be a key part of a strategic plan that can help you navigate through these types of situations.


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