Twitter marketing and Twitter management isn’t always as easy as it looks. Sure, you can cook up a creative campaign and whip up hashtags in hopes that your following will react. But you can never truly control how the Twitterverse will respond. It isn’t uncommon for campaigns to get zero notice on Twitter. Even the best and most creative efforts from big, splashy brands can fail to register on the radar. Yet every so often, a campaign is so bad that it causes a profoundly negative reaction and Twitter users attack it like rabid dogs. Microsoft’s #DroidRage campaign from last week is a perfect example of a hashtag campaign gone wrong.
Microsoft’s Windows Phone scored some major Grinch points when it asked followers, “Do you have an Android malware horror story? Reply with #DroidRage with your best/worst story and we may have a get-well present for you.” Probably seemed like a good idea to the social media marketing gurus over at Microsoft at the time, but what the campaign became was something we’re sure they didn’t have in mind. #DroidRage fast became a hashtag used to bash Windows, not Android phones. Loyalists to Andorid smartphones posted tweets like “I wish my Android phone crashed more often like Windows. #DroidRage” and “You can’t write proper software for @windowsphone; how can malware be written for it??#DroidRage”. Still other users had a distaste for the nasty tone of the campaign and started using #windowsrage as a response. By the end of last week, #DroidRage was widely considered a Twitter marketing fail of epic proportions.
So what went wrong? Mainly, the negative framework of the campaign was a stupid move. By using #DroidRage, Windows was essentially inviting haters to come and take a whack at them like some sort of Twitter piñata. Twitter is great for starting conversations between brands and consumers, but if that conversation starts off on a negative foot, be prepared for the fallout. Over the last few years, we’ve seen other brands (including McDonald’s) learn this lesson the hard way, too. Instead, Microsoft should have used the holiday spirit to give away Windows phones, asked for success stories using Windows phones or asked users to submit inspiring stories of folks who deserve phones. Basically, anything but #DroidRage.
But let’s hear from you, readers. Is #DroidRage the worst hashtag you’ve seen in some time, or can you think of something even worse? Let us know in the comments section!