Sometimes a hashtag may not be the best way to spur a positive movement. While Twitter witnessed the power of #LoveWins over Pride Weekend, not every viral hashtag succeeds in spreading the love.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced his U.S. presidential run Tuesday, taking the message not only to the stage at his old high school but also to digital media with his campaign hashtag #TellingItLikeItIs. However, it was the governor's critics who flooded Twitter, using the hashtag to express their opposition to his candidacy and their disdain for his record.
More than 3,000 tweets with the hashtag #TellingItLikeItIs were sent via Twitter in the first few hours after Christie made his announcement, according to data compiled by the social-analytics firm Topsy. The sentiment score, measuring the mood of the tweets, was listed as 17 and therefore skewed toward negativity and away from positivity.
The tweets include slams of Christie's policy on pensions for teachers, taxes in the state and his handling of the impact of Superstorm Sandy. The governor's physical appearance was also a target:
— Dayna Orlak (@desiorlak) June 30, 2015
Chris Christie purposely squandered some of the money that was to go to victims of Hurricane sandy! #TellingItLikeItIs
— Democrat for Obama (@areyou0) June 30, 2015
— Joshua Henne (@JoshuaHenne) June 30, 2015
— Loretta Weinberg (@SenatorLorettaW) June 30, 2015
— Seth Hahn (@Sethcwanj) June 30, 2015
— Planned Parenthood (@PPact) June 30, 2015
Tell It Like It Is has served as Christie's campaign slogan during the past few months. Before his official campaign announcement, the governor in April went on a multiday Tell It Like It Is Tour in New Hampshire to meet with constituents in a town-hall setting. And his campaign let it serve as his slogan for the launch and apparently will keep it over the coming summer tour.
Christie isn't the first candidate to see a social-media campaign boomerang. Even when one does not have an official campaign slogan that can be turned on its head, he or she can face jabs on Twitter and other social-media sites.
In the wake of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz's announcement that he was running for the Republican Party nomination in the 2016 presidential race, mocking #TedCruzCampaignSlogans began trending.
Brands face similar risks when they engage in question-and-answer sessions. SeaWorld's #AskSeaWorld campaign in March and the #AskELJames session with the author of "Fifty Shades of Grey" Monday were intended as exercises in positive public relations, but instead prompted negative coverage.