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When mistweets take a turn for the… better?

Red Cross disaster relief vehicle


Red Cross #gettingslizzerd?

Not too long ago, a rather inappropriate and strange tweet came from the world renowned organization, the American Red Cross. It read:


Um…did the Red Cross, one of the most selfless, passionate, and serving organizations, really just “drunk tweet”?

As it turns out, the tweet was meant for a personal account but was sent to the tweeter’s employer account via a Hootesuite mixup. Instead of making a grandiose apology, the Red Cross tweeted in stride “we’ve deleted the rogue tweet but rest assured the Red Cross is sober and we’ve confiscated the keys.”

In turn, these two little tweets set off a viral campaign that had other companies and tweeters launching donation fundraisers by using the hashtag #gettingslizzerd.

So many people were impressed by how “calm and humane” the Red Cross’s response was, they felt the need to give back to them. This story on how a mistweet can turn into something great is just the tip of the iceberg on many stories to come.

All press is good press?

The fashion house Kenneth Cole also had a tweeting fiasco when Kenneth Cole tweeted:

Cairo Tweet from Kenneth Cole

Instead of people rallying for Kenneth Cole like the Red Cross scenario, people were downright outraged that the designer would joke about such a sensitive topic. Within an hour, KC (Kenneth Cole himself) tweeted an apology stating: “we weren’t intending to make light of a serious situation.  We understand the sensitivity of this historic moment.”

Although the twitterverse was in uproar, they somehow had a positive effect on investors due to the company’s stock jumping “1.8% by end of the day.”

On the other hand, when Chrysler’s social media team, New Media Strategies, tweeted on the Chrysler handle:

Chrysler mis-Tweet


Although Chrysler wasn’t the actual company to fire the foot-in-mouth employee, they were behind NMS’ decision since “the tweet, f-bomb aside, went against the position of the new marketing campaign which promotes the city, as it associates the challenges of Detroit with those of the brand.” Although not as positive as the Red Cross and Kenneth Cole stories, this just shows how much of an impact 140 characters can have.

How to make tweets better for your business

Companies are jumping on the fact that consumer’s days revolve around their social media lives, so why not try to capitalize on it?  Obviously, we are in no way condoning making obscene tweets just to get a rise out people or to be noticed. But we are saying to make UNIQUE tweets that cause people to think and talk and hopefully generate buzz about your company, product, service, etc. Yes, these few cases are outliers in the twitterverse because their reach is worldwide as well as being household names.

If Charlie Sheen and his #winning tweets can cause a social phenomenon that spurs a demand for his “tour”, your business can make just as big of an impact on your target market, hopefully without the #tigerblood and #warlock references.

Photo thanks to Flickr user Pikes Peak Red Cross and related Twitter accounts!

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