Lobby group the Minerals Council of Australia launched a new website yesterday, Australians For Coal saying it was “to give the silent majority of Australians who support coal a voice against the activists and extremists who want to tear the sector down”.
But while their expertise is digging up stuff, it seems their social media strategy needs a rethink.
As part of the website, it launched the #australianforcoal hashtag on social media, but it seems those “activists and extremists” are already gaming the system. The problem for the Australians For Coal website is that it automatically picks up hashtagged comments running them as “suggested tweets” on the site.
The “suggested” list, some of them up to a day old, currently includes:
“Loving #Australiansforcoal for LULZ This is looking like it will surpass the epic Social Media fail of that Qantas fiasco”
“So that #australiansforcoal is going well isn’t it.”
“I’m guessing the Minerals Council is firing their social media advisor…”
Yet Ben Mitchell, communications manager at the Minerals Council of Australia isn’t phased telling Business Insider “It’s no surprise at all.”
He said the the primary objective of the site is to get people to send emails lobbying their member of parliament on the issue, claiming that already “five figures of emails have been sent” ie. more than 10,000.
He said they’ll leave the site as it is, even if it does feature anti-mining comments adding “It’s been terrible having 24 hours of free publicity.”