If a tweet falls in the woods, does it make a sound? You bet it does. Remember when we used to have to actually watch commercials on TV?
Remember the De Beers ‘A Diamond is Forever’ ads and how it was a beautiful double entendre to describe the sturdiness of the stone as well as the depth of the marital commitment? Well Twitter could launch their own “A Tweet is Forever’ campaign to describe the fact that whatever you say on the web, stays on the web, be if for good or for ego/corporation/relationship killing evil.
@kitchenAidUSA knows quite well the power of a tweet, both the bad and the good ones. Everyone remembers the inflammatory comment that was made about Barak Obama’s grandmother during the last election. Yikes! While it cost a certain community manager their job, Kitchen Aid’s CMO was able to change this ‘yikes’ into a ‘whew’ with some serious CYA messages sent to nearly every offended person on Twitter. Moral of the story, don’t use the same device for your personal account as your business account. #palmface
@celebboutique allowed their ego to get the best of them when the term #Aurora began trending in July of 2012, the UK based retailer assumed it was their well selling dress bearing the name or at least something just as cute, when in all reality Colorado was facing one of the worst mass shootings in its history. Lesson: Don’t assume everything that’s said on the internet is about you. Do your research!
@McDonalds launched their #mcdstories to try to create customer engagement through sharing heartwarming and good customer experience stories on their Twitter feeds. Alas, it turned into a forum for disgruntled customers to vent and rip them apart in 140 characters or less. My favorite story being the Dutch model who wound up with blood in her fries and was told by management that she should probably get tested. Which brings me to…
There are hundreds of examples of various Twitter #fails from celebrities or companies. Some are silly mistakes from a community manager who just didn’t think before posting, others were calculated and vetted social media campaigns (e.g. @jello’s #FML campaign), but whatever the situation, remember when something goes wrong, there is a right way and a wrong way to handle it and you have a very limited window of time to make things right in the eyes of your audience.