Social Media Mistakes During Tragedy: An Argument To NOT Outsource or Schedule Posting

The nation woke up to the horrific news that a mad man entered a midnight showing of the new Batman movie and shot 59 people and killed twelve, some of whom are children.

Most of us spent the day on various social media discussing the story, sharing the horror, and commiserating with the families. Sure, there was a fair amount of victim blaming going on (a fair number of people wondered why little kids were at the movies at midnight in the first place), but mostly people were asking for prayers and support.

With a few rare exceptions.

It’s times like these that you really, really need to be on top of your social media game, particularly if you are a company trying to use the platforms for promotion. Today I saw two major, major missteps, one by a small boutique and the other by someone affiliate with the NRA.

OUCH. Not only is that tweet now deleted, but the entire account is gone. The NRA itself issued a completely unsympathetic statement is response to public outcry.

But somewhat worse was this incredibly clueless and insensitive tweet from Celeb Boutique.


They of course deleted that tweet after receiving literally hundreds of thousands of nasty responses. But what is most interesting is what they said when they apologized:






That, right there, is the best argument I’ve ever seen for doing your social media in house or at least in country.

In addition, the rule with Twitter and customer service is ALWAYS just apologize. Do not, under any circumstances, attempt to EXPLAIN the screw up. Celeb Boutique has managed to take what looks like a solid social media platform and burn it down; first with the stupid tweet, and then by the lame follow-up and apology.

If you schedule tweets, this is also a good time to remember when tragedy strikes to turn off your auto tweets. It makes you look like a douche. Hell, don’t even whine on social media after a tragedy (a mistake I made today, and was rightly criticized for). Just offer good thoughts or prayers and go about your day.

That said, my heart goes out to everyone who has been touched by this awful, awful tragedy. Be well.

Article Posted 4 years Ago
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