Another Corporate Twitter Fail (And No One is Surprised)

14 Sep Another Corporate Twitter Fail (And No One is Surprised)

Obviously by now you have heard about (or seen) the video of Ray Rice punching his now wife that was released by TMZ last week. While the situation and the handling of it by the NFL could be a post in itself, I’m going to steer clear of that on this blog.

However, in light of that video, Twitter lit up last week with people expressing their opinions, disgust, disappointment and a wide variety of other emotions. It also led many women on Twitter to open up about their experiences with domestic abuse through using the hashtag #WhyIStayed in reference to violent relationships.

The conversation grew to the point that #WhyIStayed was trending on Twitter. At that point,(presumably in an effort to stay relevant and timely) DiGiorno Pizza jumped on the trend tweeting: “#WhyIStayed You had Pizza.”

The outrage that followed was as to be expected. While the tweet was removed within minutes, as with all social media mistakes, the damage was done. The tweet had been seen, screenshoted and shared – many, many times.

Offensive and ill-timed tweets by corporations are not a new occurrence. It has happened time and time again, and due to the fast-paced, tweet first/think later nature that is social media; it is bound to happen again.

However, what was different about the DiGiorno situation as compared to other social media blunders, was how they handled the fallout. Almost immediately, DiGiorno tweeted that they hadn’t looked into what the hashtag meant, but rather just reacted to what they saw trending. Their exact apology was “A million apologies. Did not read what the hashtag was about before positing.”

From there, they spent the night apologizing individually to the many people they offended. They actually even got recognition from a few Tweeters for coming across as sincere, honest and transparent in their apologies. One tweeter said “A sincere apology instead of a backhanded PR non-pology is always appreciated. Thanks! Good guy pizza over here.”

DiGiorno took responsibility for their error and put out an apology that was meaningful and did not appear to be merely a PR stunt – which is honestly probably the best they can hope for in this situation.

What is crazy though, is that this mistake was made by the same company that put their social media on the map through a combination of quick wit and taking advantage of trending topics. It goes to show that you can never have an off day when it comes to handling social media for a corporation or brand. So do your research, know your current events and when in doubt – avoid emotionally charged issues at all costs. While staying timely and relevant is key to a solid social media strategy, at the end of the day, better to miss an opportunity than risk offending followers.

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Kathryn Kaplan
kkaplan@speakerboxpr.com
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