This week SkySports hosted an interview with Mo Farah, 4 time Olympic Gold Medalist. Running up to the interview the SkySports team invited twitter users to Ask Mo Farah questions with the hashtag #AskFarah....
You only need to have a look at a few examples alongside this post or search twitter to see this hashtag was mainly hijacked and used for doping related questions.
Unsurprisingly when the interview was aired none of these questions were discussed. Since the the failure of the hashtag was not mentioned I cannot imagine this was planned and rather an oversight.
As mentioned below a backup plan is important however you can limit these issues through choosing the right hashtag initially. RiteTag is a great tool for helping choose your chosen tag.
Beyond this it is important to be cautious when contributing to hashtags for your own brand reputation, whether individual or company. Being part of the #askfarah timeline is probably not going to aid your brand.
2. ASSESS POSSIBLE RISK AND HAVE A PLAN IN PLACE IN CASE A HASHTAG CAMPAIGN BACKFIRES Of all the hashtag marketing disaster stories, the #McDStories is probably the most notorious. Back in January, McDonald’s launched a campaign, first with the hashtag #meetthefarmers, and then later rolled out the dangerously vague #McDStories hashtag, hoping it would inspire heart-warming stories about Happy Meals. What happened was just the opposite, and the Twitterverse quickly commandeered the hashtag and used it to share horror stories about the fast food chain. Before you roll out a branded hashtag campaign, make sure you assess the possible risk of people using it to detract you or your brand and have a PR response plan in place for what happens when your branded hashtag is suddenly trending for all of the wrong reasons.