Perhaps social media marketing is a harder beast than it gets credit for, because there has to be an explanation for all the abject failures -- both professional and personal -- that seemingly occur on a daily basis. Whether it's an athlete broadcasting insults to the commissioner of his league or a car company commenting on the driving quality of potential customers, it's pretty clear social media is not the easiest field to navigate, especially when a little forethought can prevent all kinds of backlash.
The latest incident comes courtesy of Entenmann's, maker of some fantastic donuts and other bakery items, and the Casey Anthony trial. As WebProNews' coverage indicated, the Anthony verdict caused so much reaction on Twitter, not to mention an almost constant switching of the most popular Twitter trends, it was almost impossible to keep up with the deluge of tweets being posted. Unfortunately for Entenmann's, one of their tweets did not escape the Internet's watchful eye -- of which, there are plenty.
One of the popular trends after the Anthony verdict was for the #notguilty hashtag, which was par for the course. People jumped on and shared their opinion about the trial, which is standard fare in today's world. However, during the tidal wave of related tweets, Entenmann's Twitter account tweeted the following, which has since been deleted:
"Who's #notguilty about eating all the tasty treats they want?!"
While the tweet should probably be considered insensitive, especially towards the memory of Caylee Anthony, as Twitter screw ups go, Entenmann's was fairly mild. That, however, did not stop them from total capitulation, which including putting the company they hired to handle their social media activity -- Likeable Media -- on notice. The result was an avalanche of apologetic tweets from the Entenmann's account, and a post from Likeable, explaining the reason for the unfortunate tweet.
Simply put, Likeable didn't understand the meaning of the hashtag and was simply following the crowd:
The truth is, our team was leveraging the trending topics and moving so fast they neglected to see what the hashtag was related to. It was obviously insensitive, and on behalf of the entire Likeable team and our client, Entenmann's, I’m sorry. Please know that I am working on refining our process to ensure that this does not happen again.
The question is, is that a legitimate excuse for a Twitter failure? I mean, if you're going to post something that leverages a trending topic, shouldn't you know what the hashtag is referring to? Furthermore, if that was indeed the reason behind the Entenmann's tweet, why are there no tweets related to the never-ending popularity of the #riseandgrind trend? That topic falls in line with products Entenmann's offers, but yet, no related tweets.
Another discussion for another time, apparently.
It's hard not to wonder if Entenmann's is going to retain Likeable Media for future social media endeavors? When a company is reduced to making these kinds of Twitter posts:
#notguilty tweet was insensitive, albeit completely unintentional. We are sincerely sorry.Our
One would think the professional relationship that caused these unfortunately necessary reactions would come to an end.
Lead image is courtesy of the Fading Ad Blog.