Not all publicity is good publicity
I’ve been having quite a rant this week about companies that use inexperienced social media marketing managers. Two have been about a rather silly girl who wrote a poorly thought-out article about her generation and social media. No harm done, except to her reputation. But …
… in other news, a social media manager for a large company made an error the other day that only a complete beginner would make. And the news is all over the internet and, I’m sure, will require a lot of hard work to put right. Their internet reputation has been blown to smithereens.
When I wrote the other two articles, I carefully didn’t add the girl’s name as I didn’t want to expose her to further ridicule but in this particular case, I don’t care – the damage is done. I was going to say ‘unless you live on the moon, you’ve heard about …’ but even the astronauts in the International Space Station have heard about the appalling events which took place in Colorado a few days ago. You might also remember that they took place in a place called Aurora. So, guess what the ’social media manager’ of an online fashion house did – it’s almost beyond belief (unless, that is, you’ve seen as many social media gaffes as I have). But this one will most probably have people boycotting the business.
Whenever there’s a disaster or tragedy, the subject will trend on Twitter, ‘trending’ simply meaning that lots of people are talking about it. This so-called social media person saw that #Aurora was trending. Even assuming that they hadn’t heard the news, a simple click would have shown them why. But no, this was what they posted on Twitter:
I know, I couldn’t believe it either. Note that this was twelve hours after the event.
Reports suddenly appeared that the company were attempting to capitalize on the tragedy. More than one person pointed out that they are not new to Twitter and that even a beginner would know to take a second to click on the trending hashtag. People pointed out the wink at the end of the first line which, they believed, means ‘aren’t we edgy’ or ‘we’re hijacking this trending topic’.
Then the boutique tried to explain and made matters even worse. (Twitter being Twitter, you need to read from the bottom up).
They didn’t really improve matters, did they? America is feeling bruised and battered and they say that there PR is outsourced to another country – a country that doesn’t know what’s going on in the world. (Or done by an intern in their base country – Argentina). They then admit that their social media account is looked after by their PR people inferring that they are too cheap to employ professionals. They admit that their PR person didn’t check. They then say that they have removed the tweet (which makes no difference at all, they are archived, you can’t just make a mess of things and delete – a professional knows that). They don’t offer their sympathies to America or to the victims. They don’t say that they are donating $xxx dollars to the trust fund set up for the orphaned children.
Many blogs are were saying that the company might as well now shut its doors – or the internet equivalent; take down its website.
I searched Google to see what sort of reaction there was in the internet.