Monthly Archives: January 2012

The Great Hashtag Debate

It’s a growing trend in the Twitter world and companies still aren’t catching on – Company announces social media campaign… Company creates hashtag…. Twitter-verse abuses hashtag… Company removes hashtag.

Most recently, McDonald’s created a campaign that intended to highlight the positive, personal stories of its customers. They dubbed the campaign #McDStories on Twitter and let the online community have at it.

And that’s where the campaign went awry.

Like so many others, the hashtag turned into a free-for-all rant from thousands of Twitter users. From jokes to bad experiences, the posts turned a well-intentioned social media campaign into a global laugh track.

But this story is just one of many that raises an important question. Why does this keep happening?

Yes, Twitter and social media are innately volatile and companies will never be able to control every aspect of their plans. But where’s the accountability in the marketing and public relations sector?

Ultimately, this speaks volumes about the current state of the public relations world. While countless companies and industries are taking advantage of the social media boom, very few have public relations managers and directors have the creative savvy and foresight to effectively plan a long term social media campaign.

It takes a special individual to understand not just how social media works, but how each and every type of user will respond to a campaign. Because in a world where everyone has a voice, we now need to be aware of each specific reaction, in addition to the overall response.


Google Playing with Fire

Google is playing around with our searches and the public is not happy.

This week, the global leader for all online questions-and-answers has made a few significant changes that will alter the way you search.

In an effort to improve its Google Plus market influence in the world of social media, Google has integrated the platform into all searching on the site. This means that you will now see links to friends’ results, tagged posts and even other users’ photos in your searches.

Unfortunately, this seems like a move that places Google’s needs in front of the consumers’. Sure, we can’t blame them for boosting Google Plus but at what expense? Isn’t Google supposed to be the go-to stop for the most effective searching?

Google used to provide real-time results from Twitter (read Twitter’s angry reply to this move). Google used to be the best place to find exactly what you wanted quickly, regardless of how obscure. Now, it is beginning to look like a watered-down version of what once was.

Certainly this new format weakens the platform and even pushes certain consumers away.

Luckily, for those of us savvy enough to do a little digging, you can opt out of the new setup and partially restore your Google searching to normalcy.

Or just simply teach Google a lesson and switch to Bing.