What companies and brands do you follow on Twitter? My personal favorites are the companies who you would never expect to turn on the sass online. I love the fast-food chains who call out their competitors or brands who take a stance on prevalent issue through their account.
I think Twitter has changed the way we communicate with companies. Airlines are actually now asking their customers to reach them via Twitter if they have a customer service complaint or a problem with a canceled flight. Customers now feel like they have direct contact with these massive companies and for the most part, this is true.
Communication teams are set up with the sole purpose of connecting with audiences on Twitter, whether that’s generating content or answering customers questions. But with the simplicity that Twitter offers, it also has made it much easier for companies to make mistakes online.
Crisis communication is now an actual job you can have because no matter the severity of a situation, someone will post about it. Everyone wants to join in on a conversation when it’s taking over social media. Because Twitter can feel so casual for brands, sending out a risky or downright problematic tweet has become much more common. I think it’s also become easier for companies to want to take risks online. Below I outlined when a tweet may go too far, with a few examples:
So how do you know when your company should delete a tweet?
- If the tweet uses derogatory language or slurs, don’t even tweet it. But if you do, delete it.
- Don’t piggyback on the death of celebrity just to gain likes or make a sale.
3. Don’t get political.
Well sometimes get political, but only if that is something your company is known for doing.
4. If you make a spelling error, rewrite the tweet.
5. Lastly, make sure your brand is tweeting through the voice of the company, not the group of people actually running the account.
Okay, so your company made a mistake online. Now what?
So what do You do after deleting the tweet?
- Apologize and be sincere about it.
- Explain how things will be different on your account from here on out.
- Do not blame the bad tweet on a hack–unless you were actually hacked.
- Secure your account.
- Rethink the group you have running your social media.
- Don’t ignore the situation.
Mistakes are bound to happen online especially if you are running an account that is sending out multiple tweets every day. That’s why it is super important for your team to have a crisis communication action plan in place for when a problematic tweet gets sent. I think companies who are utilizing Twitter need to remember what their brand stands for and make sure that the messages they are sending out always align with it. But most importantly, just don’t send out a dumb tweet!