There are a lot of marketing horror stories about Twitter campaigns going awry because of deliberate sabotage. People who disagree with a certain brand’s vision, or who just want attention, are capable of completely changing the narrative in the open atmosphere of social media. Usually these are just annoying distractions, but sometimes they take over and corrupt the entire purpose of the campaign.
It affects major brands and minor ones, corporate campaigns and activist movements. It comes from ordinary people and from local social media companies trying to score some easy exposure. In 2012, McDonalds asked customers to tweet memories of meals they got from the chain, and many users responded with horror stories of bad food and service. Much more recently, the #YesAllWomen campaign was hijacked by no less a figure than the Ayatollah of Iran, to criticize the “sexual sins” of Western women.
These hijackings aren’t completely avoidable, but if you’re working with a national or local social media company, its staff ought to be able to assess what kind of negative sentiments might be percolating among your target demographics. They should tailor your campaign so it never invites hijacking attempts.