As we’ve said before, social media, when done correctly, can be a phenomenal tool of growth and lead generation for your business. Out of all social media channels, Twitter is a platform that thrives on opportunism. The key to creating traction on Twitter is to jump on the moment immediately or the moment will die. The most successful and shocking posts are instant reactions to current events.
Take Oreo, for example. Milk’s Favorite Cookie is known for its brilliant opportunist campaigns on social media that get the company recognition from consumers and media alike. Remember what happened during last year’s Super Bowl? No, I’m not talking about Beyoncé’s killer Halftime Show performance or the fact that the 49ers lost (boo). There was a blackout during the third quarter, and during those 34 minutes, Oreo’s marketing team issued this genius tweet that earned them more than 15K retweets and acknowledgment in Huffington Post and Wired, among many others.
But more often, we see some head-shaking social media fails. The following posts demonstrate that sometimes taking a risk can lead to very emotionally-charged and negative reactions that could damage a company’s reputation.
1. When there is a national tragedy, do not use the tragedy to promote your products or services on Twitter.
Following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., Kmart sent a tweet to pay their respects…and then added in a promotional hashtag for its holiday shopping Fab 15! Campaign.
Just hours after the Aurora, Colo. movie theater shooting, American Rifelman, a journal affiliated with the National Rifle Association, posted this scheduled pro-gun tweet.
3. Do not piggyback on a trending topic that has nothing to do with your company, especially if it’s a sensitive topic.
Baked goods manufacturer Entenmann’s joined in on the Casey Anthony “Not Guilty” murder verdict conversation on Twitter, presumably to get attention for its tasty treats.
Lastly, a tip for all of my PR friends who manage social media accounts for clients – please double-check where you’re publishing a tweet, Facebook post or Instagram photo so this never happens to you…