@KitchenAidUSA: Obamas gma even knew it was going 2 b bad! ‘She died 3 days b4 he became president’.
When a social media manager at KitchenAid mistakenly used the company’s Twitter account as a political soapbox, more than 26,000 lovers of professional-grade cooking equipment were left scratching their heads.
Politics, let alone questionable grammar, is the last thing you’d expect to read from KitchenAid.
The company promptly deleted the rogue tweet, and damage control attempted to sweep this FUBAR under the rug. Read more about the fallout. KitchenAid isn’t the first company to fall victim to this, and it certainly won’t be the last (keep reading for more examples).
How Social Media Snafus Happen
No, the account didn’t get hacked. A disgruntled employee wasn’t having a meltdown. It’s much simpler and less dramatic: A member of the social media team accidentally sent a personal tweet from the brand’s Twitter account.
But to the general public, none of that matters. And the black mark remains.
@ChryslerAutos: I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to f*cking drive.
So when we drill down deeper to the root of the problem, red flags arise.
For large brands, anywhere from 10- to 30 people (or worse, even more) may have access to the company’s social media account. The whole marketing department, a few corporate suits, a couple IT guys and a handful of agency mavens all want their hands in the pot. And every additional administrator is another liability for the company.
@StubHub: Thank f*** it’s Friday! Can’t wait to get out of this stubsucking hell hole.
It’s also not uncommon for members of social media teams to manage multiple accounts across various streams, and even swap between desktop, tablet and mobile all in a day’s work.
More people. More technology. And more ways to let a mistake slip through the cracks.
How to Prevent a Social Media Meltdown
The message is simple: Those with access to a corporate social media account should always double, triple and quadruple check which feed they’re logged into before sending a message.
@RedCross: Ryan found two more 4 bottle packs of Dogfish Head’s Midas Touch beer… when we drink we do it right #gettinglizzerd
But it’s always good practice to confirm before posting. It only takes a few extra seconds, whereas damage to a brand can last a lifetime (Google “KitchenAid tweet”). And it could easily cost people their jobs.
Remember: No matter how fast someone deletes a FUBAR tweet, chances are the Internet is faster at seeing it. And by that time, it’s too late. The Internet never forgets.
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Like this story? Try this: How to Tame a Social Media Firestorm.