Twitter: It’s Not For Idiots

I was going to end on today’s post regarding Aurora, Colorado today. Then this happened:

Image courtesy of Business Insider.

Thousands of enraged Twitter users began flaming the company for its insensitive abuse of the hashtag. Not only that, but even blogger Brian Gardner weighed in:

Image courtesy of Brian

In the past, there have been other such ‘epic failures’ in the marketing world. There was the Kenneth Cole failtweet about #Cairo:

Image courtesy of Jason Michael Douglas

There was also the “Pedobearincident with Nestle.

Image courtesy of Belfast Telegraph

If there’s one thing we can all learn from this, it’s that Twitter is not for idiots. PR nightmares like these can and should be avoided, and careless mistakes like this are a result of laziness in the PR bullpen. As someone who works in social media often, I find disgustingly unprofessional that such a remarkably disgraceful incident like the #Aurora even happened. One excuse provided via twitter by Celeb Boutique, was that their PR team is not US-based: Really? Did you know that Google is accessible via computer and researching the hashtag for Aurora would have taken all of seconds? To avoid miserable fails like this, here are some precautions you can take as a responsible digital citizen:

  1. Research your hashtags. If you are going to use it, know what you are referencing. For instance, if #aurora is trending, figure out why it is trending before you publicly humiliate yourself.
  2. Hire better PR people. If your staff can’t be bothered to google a hashtag (which could save you humiliating public embarrassment) then get better staff.
  3. Know your audience. If you have any United States clients at all, make sure you stay on top of national stories.
  4. Clean up immediately. Once the first angry response tweet rolls in, delete your offensive tweet ASAP and issue an apology like no tomorrow. If it takes you over an hour to correct your mistake, you may consider retiring from twitter.

I can only hope Celeb Boutique and other Twitter-using companies have learned their lesson, and pray that their apologies are good enough to spare them from further Twitter hellfire.

3 thoughts on “Twitter: It’s Not For Idiots

  1. Pingback: Digital Natives / Digital Immigrants: The Revisit | City Gopher

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