All together now: Stop using hashtags like this. Stop it now. I’m looking at you, Fox News.
On New Year’s Eve, the conservative media outlet tweeted this:
And, naturally, the internet was happy to respond:
In taking a quick look at some of my old blog posts, there are numerous occasions where someone with serious negative sentiment tried to use a hashtag to start a conversation or solicit input, only to have it backfire disastrously. This, clearly, is one of those times. I’ll say it again: If you have serious negative feelings towards your brand, you have to be aware that something like this may happen when you invite open participation in a hashtag, and at the very least, you have to not be surprised when it happens. That’s not to say that hashtag solicitation can’t be used – it can be – but you have to be prepared to acknowledge or respond to negative criticism. If you aren’t willing to face reality in that regard, then don’t use a hashtag in this manner.
So, thanks to Fox News for giving us the first social media fail of the New Year!