AdAge asks, Is No Chatter Worse Than Negative Chatter? Good question- for many brands, the passion that drives affinity is just as desirable as the passion that drives hatred. I'm reminded of this Scion ad, which really drives the point home: stand for something or go home.
Such is the challenge of Earned media- you have to attract attention while still being YOU. If there's nothing worth saying about your brand, then you're beyond help in any advertising medium. Stick with the paid stuff.
But when there's something or someone to love, to hate, to act as an ally or fight as an enemy, you've got your in.
You can't force people to tweet your brand or your hashtag- you're going to have to do something to create the emotion behind those actions. Are you talking to #BlameDrewsCancer? Are you finding what's funny about your product and getting that on video?
Look. Listen. Plan. Blow it up big. Measure. Repeat.