There’s no question, Twitter is a great tool for businesses and public figures to connect on a personal level with their fans and followers. Twitter expanded rapidly, launching in 2006 and since then, currently has more than 200 million users. Twitter has revolutionized the way we get information. Reporters now tweet from the court rooms about important cases, media outlets report breaking news, companies introduce new products, and most importantly, Paris Hilton lets us know her current partying location – the last one being Amsterdam! In a world where information is shared in a millisecond to millions of users, there is bound to be some mess ups along the way. Here is a list of the top 4 Twitter blunders that we can all learn from!
1. Chrysler drops the F-bomb
Chrysler has really stepped up their advertising game unveiling an Eminem commercial during the Super Bowl to reach out to the Detroit workforce. The struggling company has done its best to stay afloat in these tough economic times. Soon after, trouble came when an employee of New Media Strategies, the firm in charge of Chrysler’s social media, accidentally tweeted on the Chrysler twitter something that he intended for his own personal handle.
“I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to f***ing drive.”
The word was not censored and the statement was offensive to the people Chrysler was praising and targeting. Chrysler managed to dilute the situation by removing the tweet and tweeting a statement of apology.
Lesson: Never mix your personal accounts with your company account. By keeping the two separate, you’ll never run the risk of getting them mixed up. Also, it’s best not to trash your client’s target market, even on your personal page.
2. Lindsay Lohan just wants to work!
Lindsay Lohan’s life has been going on a very fast downward spiral, and people just love to rubberneck! Lohan, who is a big twitter fan, uses it to defend herself against the media blasphemy. In February 2011, she tweeted “I just want to be on set again, and left alone to just work!” which appears to be a big fat lie since Lohan has been getting fired from every job (and community service sentence). Recently, Lohan went to court for not showing up for community service several times. She tweeted in her defense,
“I just want it to be known, that just because I was not followed and photographed during the times I’ve gone to community service, that does not mean that I wasn’t following my obligations (by going) to the court.”
Lesson: Do not lie on Twitter, it makes you look bad, and the truth usually gets out.
3. Drinking and Donating
One thing you shouldn’t associate the Red Cross with is being drunk, yet that changed when the following tweet was posted:
“Ryan found two more 4 bottle packs of Dogfish Head’s Midas Touch Beer…when we drink we do it right #gettngslizzerd”
It was sent by someone who had mixed up the twitter accounts and posted it from the Red Cross account instead of their personal one.
The Red Cross acted quickly and tweeted:
“We’ve deleted the rogue tweet but rest assured the Red Cross is sober and we’ve confiscated the keys”
Now this story actually had a happy ending as Dogfish Head beer tweeted:
RT @Michael_Hayek: #craftbeer @dogfishbeer fans, donate 2 @redcross 2day. Tweet with #gettngslizzerd. Donate here http://tinyurl.com/5s72obb
This tweet encouraged fans of the beer to donate money and tweet about it.
“Here comes $50 donated to @RedCross in honor of @DogFishbeer http://on.mash.to/eQt9zB #gettingslizzard !!
Lesson: A bad situation can sometimes work in your favor! Just make sure you handle it well!
4. Gilbert Gottfried
Gilbert Gottfried is famous for his completely inappropriate jokes, which was hopefully something that Aflac was aware of when they hired him as the voice of their mascot. In the wake of the devastating hurricane in Japan, Gottfried took the opportunity to tweet:
“Japan is really advanced. They don’t go to the beach. The beach comes to them.”
“I just split up with my girlfriend, but like the Japanese say, “They’ll be another one floating by any minute now.”
When Aflac saw these comments it fired Gottfried and issued the following statement:
“Gilbert’s recent comments about the crisis in Japan were lacking in humor and certainly do not represent the thoughts and feelings of anyone at Aflac … Aflac will immediately set plans in motion to conduct a nationwide casting call to find a new voice of the iconic Aflac Duck.”
What I find as disturbing as the off-color jokes made by Gottfriend is that his previous jokes had been more offensive and that Aflact hired him anyway. Would that mean that Aflac had supported his other sexist, racist, and just plain foul jokes?
Lesson: Be careful when choosing a celebrity spokesperson or avoid it all together. You never know what trouble they’ll get into! And, don’t send tweets making light of natural disasters or tragic events, just as Kenneth Cole learned Here.
We’re all bound to make mistakes, but here are three tips that may keep you out of hot water when Tweeting:
- If you’re using a dashboard, such as Tweetdeck or Hootsuite, and have multiple Twitter accounts, double check before you Tweet!
- Remember, what you find funny others may not. Think about the brand’s reputation before making light of serious situations (ahem, Kenneth Cole!)
- If you do mess up, be sincere. Apologize from the heart. There’s nothing worse than a phony apology that everyone can see through!