Social media is a great way to get your message across.
Sometimes, it can be TOO effective in spreading messages, especially when it’s a message you DON’T WANT to send.
One case in point is a tweet sent by a staffer at KitchenAid, mistakenly using KitchenAid’s official Twitter account during a Presidential Debate:
[blockquote]@KitchenAidUSA: “Obamas gma even knew it was going 2 b bad! ‘She died 3 days b4 he became president!”[/blockquote]
When this post was written, KitchenAid had 26,589 followers – that means one screwup reached 26,589 people, their followers, etc.
A Google search on “KitchenAid Obama Tweet” shows close to 300,000 results.
Cynthia Soledad, head of KitchenAid, immediately tweeted several apologies and did an admirable job taking responsibility for the irresponsible actions of a staffer:
[blockquote]Hello, everyone. My name is Cynthia Soledad, and I am the head of the KitchenAid brand. I would like to personally apologize to President @BarackObama, his family and everyone on Twitter for the offensive tweet sent earlier. It was carelessly sent in error by a member of our Twitter team who, needless to say, won’t be tweeting for us anymore. That said, I take full responsibility for my team. Thank you for hearing me out.[/blockquote]
Anybody with common sense won’t hold KitchenAid responsible for this insensitive tweet, which was obviously not meant to go out on the company Twitter account.
But the fact is, the tweet DID go out on the company Twitter account.
And Cynthia had to deal with a potential P/R nightmare.
How much time do you think she spent doing that?
KitchenAid isn’t unique – they are certainly not the first company to deal with a social media gaffe, and they won’t be the last.
Social media is a necessary and useful marketing tool. Your message can instantly reach hundreds of thousands of people at the click of a button.
But remember, just as you can’t un-ring a bell, you can’t un-send a message.
Be careful with social media.
Treat it like a loaded gun.