Here is another lesson on Twitter and hashtags, just because you create it doesn’t mean that you own it. The New York City Police Department learned that the hard way.The New York Police Department on Tuesday asked people to post photos with its officers using the hashtag #myNYPD. They thought they had a cool way to show police and praise the police of New York – it backfired.
They got a lot of responses and they were mostly negative.
The posts mostly showed police brutality or misconduct. This was not the result that the police department was looking for.
When a company creates a hashtag it is important to think of the consequences and potential outcomes. This was a great idea in theory, but they didn’t plan it out that well.
Not only did this create a problem for the NYPD, but people in other cities starting posting negative pictures with #myLAPD and #myCPD.
According to a CNN article Deputy Chief Kim Y. Royster said that the posts weren’t all bad.
This isn’t the first time that a hashtag has been highjacked, so you think that businesses would have learned by now.
When you are about to name your child you have to put their name through the “Tease Test.” For example: If you are going to name you kid Brady. Kids might call him Tom Brady or they might call him Brady Bunch or something negative.
I totally agree with you Matt!
Recently, celebrities have been using Twitter as a question and answer forum. It usually backfires.
One that I saw recently involved James Neal and hockey player for the Pittsburg Penguins. The hashtag was #askneal. Just some background for all you non-hockey folks. James Neal has been know for some cheap shots and dirt plays. Here are some of the tweets:
If you could have any super power, how would you use it to hit opponents in the head? #askneal
Do you make rocket noises when you launch yourself at peoples’ heads? if not, why? #AskNeal
#askneal what’s your favorite strategy when facing an opponent? Elbowing? High hitting? Cross checking? Knee to knees?
Two Olympic marketing campaigns for McDonalds and Coke got highjacked by gay rights activists. They spent millions on those campaigns and they were ruined within days of launching.
Not too long ago J.P Morgan tried the same thing on Twitter.
J.P. Morgan announced a Q&A on Twitter this past Nov. after they were fined $920 million over its “London Whale” trading loss. They wanted people to ask questions so they could clear the air on Twitter. Their goal was to interact with customers and it was a complete fail.
Instead of receiving real questions about the allegations they received a whole bunch of hate texts.
Here are just a few:
“Did you always want to be part of a vast, corrupt criminal enterprise or did you “break bad”?”
“Did you have a specific number of people’s lives you needed to ruin before you considered your business model a success?”
“What section of the poor & disenfranchised have you yet to exploit for profit, & how are you working to address that?”
“Why aren’t you in jail for sending a literal ton of gold bullion to Iran in violation of sanctions?
Definitely not the interaction they were looking for.
Lessons to learn:
- Make sure you have a plan
- Thing of all possible negative outcomes
- Test before launching and get feedback