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During Times of Crisis, Consider What You Tweet



Last week, the town of Aurora, CO suffered a terrible catastrophe at the midnight preview of the new Batman movie. Hours after the news hit, Celeb Boutique took it upon themselves to joke about it on Twitter with the following tweet:

“#Aurora is trending, clearly about our Kim K inspired #Aurora dress 😉 Shop:http://t.co/cMNYgVqC

It didn’t take the Twitterverse long to respond and within a half hour of the tweet, hundreds of angry responses flooded the streams. Celeb Boutique removed the offensive tweet and proceeded to issue a five tweet apology in response. During this time, they also pinned blame on their UK based social media company claiming they weren’t aware of what had gone wrong.

So what can we learn here? First and foremost, there was clearly no social media policy in place and no communication between the retailer and their social media team. If a tragedy strikes, there should be a plan of action in place. You either say something or don’t.

Second, all trending hashtags should be checked before talking about them. It might just be that the hashtag isn’t about you and your brand. How hard is it to click and see what’s going on? Remember, listening to the conversation is a key part of managing a successful social media presence. That action alone could have prevented the insensitive tweet.

Celeb Boutique was quick to issue an apology however they missed the mark and forgot to include the #Aurora hashtag in their five tweet apology. Celeb Boutique should have strategized an apology as many people didn’t think the five tweets were enough. Also since timelines move so rapidly and several people were outraged, repeating the apology a few more times with the hashtag would have allowed for more people to see it. The Internet can be forgiving but only if you respond rationally and appropriately or else they’ll just pick on you again and use you as an example of what not to do.

Twitter mistakes can be prevented with solid social media strategies, clear communication, and staying updated with trending news. What would be your advice to prevent Twitter faux pas? Is there anything we missed?

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