Whether you are tweeting for yourself or tweeting for a brand/company it is important to make sure that you are putting the right message out there. Since Twitter allows you to send just about any message in 140 characters or less, that is plenty of space to influence your followers. However, it also leaves plenty of space to create a disaster of epic proportions.
Recently, two high-end fashion labels have made headlines for disastrous adventures in tweeting. In one instance it was a public meltdown of an intern who just so happened to handle the brand’s Twitter account and in the other, was the brand’s owner who offended thousands with his insensitive Tweet about Egypt.
The public meltdown of an intern:
The Brand: Marc Jacobs Intl. (@MarcJacobsIntl)
The Tweeter: The intern
So it seems that a Marc Jacobs intern couldn’t handle the pressures of their job. So, instead of just complaining to their friends after work, the intern chose to use @MarcJacobsIntl to have a public meltdown bashing both the company and the CEO.
For your entertainment here are some of the messages the intern tweeted on @MarcJacobsIntl during their infamous meltdown:
“You guys and gals have no idea how difficult Robert is. I am only an intern. My last day is tomorrow. I wouldn’t be tweeting this if not!”
“Good luck! I pray for you all. If you get the job! I’m out of here. See ya! Don’t want to be ya! Roberts a tyrant! Seriously! He is tough!”
“I can call him out! I’m out! Won’t work in this town again! I know that! Learned a lot. But, I don’t have the energy for what is expected!”
“Yea, walk in my MJ shoes! Don’t judge me! I’m alone in this office having to try and entertain you all. This isn’t easy. I have tried. Done!”
And my personal favorite:
“Spelling is hard for me. I hate this job. Hope they find someone soon. Robert is so picky! We have presented him with 50 people. He’s not happy.”
I really hope this intern realizes it will be close to impossible for them to find a job again after this little stunt.
Since this meltdown has happened, Hootsuite has added features to its program to prevent Twitter meltdowns and the sending of unintentional tweets. This feature, Secure Profiles, prompts users to confirm or cancel tweets before sending them. Although Secure Profiles is only available on the web, it is designed specifically for organizational teams so account owners can designate chosen social profiles as “secure” and team members are prompted to confirm or cancel messages before sending them out to the Twitterverse.
Then there is the brand owner not thinking before tweeting:
The Brand: Kenneth Cole (@KennethCole)
The Tweeter: Kenneth Cole himself
Back in February, a tweet was sent out on @KennethCole (signed by KC himself) using the trending topic #Cairo in order to promote his spring line and gain awareness. You can only imagine the uproar it caused given that the tweet was sent just as the political situation in Egypt was deteriorating rapidly, with increasing reports of violence against both anti-government protestors and impartial foreign observers in the area. Having sent out the offensive tweet at such a sensitive time not only damaged the company’s reputation but also the reputation of Kenneth Cole himself.
By the end of the day there were articles on the Huffington Post, CNBC and NY Daily News all discussing Kenneth Cole’s insensitivity in using the strife in Egypt for promotional purposes. For full details on the timeline of the uproar of the @KennethCole fiasco check out the post by Metzger account executive, Jill Thompson titled “Watching a Brand Unravel in 8 hours.”
The integrity of your Twitter messages can be crucial to not only your brand’s reputation, but also your personal reputation. This is especially true online where errant messages can be picked up and re-broadcast worldwide to an audience before you even realize the message exists. So bottom line: think before you tweet. If you feel the urge to engage in some verbal diarrhea, sit back take a deep breath, turn on your verbal filter and think about how the message you are about to send will affect not only yourself but your company as well.
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