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Twitter hashtag campaign backfires by unhappy customers

Many company’s have discovered that using hashtags effectively can put Twitter and social media campaigns over the top. But what happens when a hashtag campaign backfires?

An attempt to launch a Twitter campaign in the midst of a bitter strike affecting thousands of passengers did backfire for Qantas.

The company hoped to generate some positive PR with a post asking followers to suggest their dream in-flight experience using the hashtag #qantasluxury. But Qantas didn’t count on angry customers hijacking the Twitter competition to vent their frustrations with the airline.


McDonald’s launched a Twitter campaign using the hashtag #McDStories – it was hoping that the hashtag would inspire heart-warming stories about Happy Meals. Instead, it attracted snarky tweeps – some sample tweets:

McDStories hashtag - Hashtag campaign backfires

Twitter hashtag campaign backfires by unhappy customers – McDStories hashtag

Such behaviour led to the term “bashtag” being coined to describe situations in which a corporate Twitter hashtag is used to criticize the company.

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Experienced senior executive, both at a strategic and operational level, with strong track record in developing, driving and managing business improvement and development and change management. International experience from management positions in Denmark, Germany and Switzerland View full profile

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