Discussion  - 
Neville's coverage of the Starbucks hashtag hijacking intrigued me on a number of levels. First, there's the basic notion that hashtag campaigns are perilous things. Second, and more compelling, is the idea that parts of the business that once functioned in silos now need to work in concert.

Have you done a hashtag campaign? I'd be curious to know what it was and how it went. Other thoughts on this story?
Neville Hobson's profile photoBernie Goldbach's profile photoDuane Bonifer's profile photo
I work in higher ed, and we've stayed away from them because students will hijack a hashtag if they feel like a brand promise has been broken or unfulfilled.

Ironically, students at the college where I work have introduced hashtags to express their satisfaction with the way the school handled a crisis. The experiences have taught me that the best hashtags are organic and often reflect how customers actually view a brand. People in advertising don't always understand that reality, but a lot of fellow higher-ed PR folks I've talked to completely understand it.

Another example: an ad agency introduced a hashtag campaign this fall for another school's football team. The trouble with the campaign: the football team wasn't very good, so fans used to hashtag to express frustration with the team -- reinforcing your point that hashtag campaigns can be rather risky.
+Duane Bonifer thanks for that insight, Duane. Makes me think that typical current hashtag usage is simply another means of attempting to keep control of a conversation as so much of marketing's use of social media tends to be. Hashtag hijacking shows how fragile  - and foolhardy - such thinking is.
We use #edchatie  on Monday evenings during the school year. Some of the tech service provides dump links onto it but most respect the space while harvesting the details of people sharing thoughts through hashtagged conversations. 
Neville: Great point. In social media you are not in control.
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