More and more brands are flocking to Twitter to connect with customers, engage in dialogue and spread their promotions. But recently there seems to be a spate of tweets that can be called clueless at best, and offensive at worst.
Just this weekend, I was exposed to the latest example of clueless marketing on Twitter. In this case it was someone using the horrible incident in Aurora, Colo. to promote their clothing brand.
(Note: I cut their name out so as not to give them any more free publicity).
If this were an isolated incident, I would just shake my head and move on. But it appears we have reached an inflection point where more and more clueless marketers are thinking that any trending hashtag is something to glom onto.
There is also the less popular, but shocking Tsunami alerts are good for business. This one comes from a marketer in Thailand who must have forgotten that 8,000+ people were killed by a Tsunami in Thailand in 2004.
The now infamous Cairo shoes tweet:
“Let's hurry home and follow the earthquake news. And don't forget to order your favorite [XXX] menu”
Then there is the less well known but still shocking tweet sent out by one coffee chain in the republic of Ireland:
What is my advice to marketers, communicators and public relations professionals on using Twitter hashtags?
- Twitter is a great place for sharing news, observations and having two way conversations
- Using #hashtags is a great way to label your content and bring it to the attention of those engaged in topical conversations
- #hashtags are not a good way to interject your totally off topic or even tangential promotion or brand message into an ongoing debate, tragedy, revolution or social movement.
- Never tweet alone. Before sharing a tweet using a trending #hashtag, ask a colleague or better yet three colleagues what they think of your brilliant and creative idea.
- Stop. Think.
- If you can think of any way that your planned tweet could be considered offensive…step away from the keyboard, iPad or touchscreen. If you don’t – do not blame me when you are pilloried by the Twitterverse
Do you have any other advice or horror stories to share? If so, leave a comment.
Posted by Mark McClennan on July 23, 2012 at 8:10 AM