We’ve written about why you should use social media to get your message out there. We’ve also blogged about what not to do. So when we saw this post by The Huffington Post’s Ryan Holmes, we were intrigued. Sure the incident in question happened over a year ago, but the fallout is still around. (If it’s online, it’ll come back to haunt you…amirite, Tiger Woods? ) It’s just a decent piece of advice that bears repeating because some of you may have missed the message. Social media can be a boon to your company and your online presence, but just use the advice given to Peter Parker, “With great power comes great responsibility.” The lesson here is to use your social media wisely, young ones.
How Not to #GetSlizzerd on Twitter: Controlling the Message as Social Media Goes Company-wide
By Ryan Holmes via The Huffington Post
At 11:24 p.m. on Feb. 15, 2011, Gloria Huang — a young social media specialist for the American Red Cross — dashed off a tweet from what she thought was her personal Twitter account. “Ryan found 2 more 4 bottle packs of Dogfish Head’s Midas Touch beer… When we drink we do it right #gettngslizzerd”. When Huang clicked send, the message was instantly pushed out, not to her closest friends, but to every last one of the Red Cross’ 268,000 followers. The accidental tweet quickly caught the attention of Twitter nation. Gag tweets with the hashtag #gettngslizzerd splashed across the Twittersphere, leaving the Red Cross to do some virtual triage (which, by the way, they did quite admirably).
While unique in its scope, this blunder isn’t exceptional. Social media has grown from a curiosity to an integral piece of corporate strategy in the space of only a few years. Nearly overnight, companies have brought on whole teams of specialists to handle multiplying numbers of social media accounts. From April 2011 to April 2012, total users active in teams on the social media dashboard HootSuite nearly tripled. Large, corporate clients currently have an average of 23 team members each.
At the same time, social media has expanded company-wide. “We see social media not just as a marketing tool,” explains Dewayne Hankins, director of new media for the LA Kings NHL team, which has 220,000 Facebook fans and nearly 100,000 Twitter followers. “It’s a customer service tool, it’s a PR tool, it’s a sales tool. Even the guy who does the music during games uses Twitter to get song requests and feedback.” Global enterprises now find themselves juggling dozens — if not hundreds — of accounts in multiple languages aimed at audiences around the world.