Are you *@$%#* kidding me? Thoughts on social media fiasco in Detroit
While a vast majority of the Twittersphere are focused on how many followers a certain former sitcom star can generate, which coincidentally is being used as one more reason why Twitter is valuable, a certain social media practitioner working on behalf of his client Chrysler decided knowingly or unwittingly to post a tweet using profanity through an official Chrysler Twitter account.
I have to tell you, I'm not a fan of sailor talk on Twitter but know it's widely practiced and some may even argue it's fine and appropriate. Heck, a simple search on the "F" word generated more than 200 tweets in the past minute alone.
In the Chrysler case, the offensive tweet was quickly removed and Chrysler made a corporate decision that the tweet crossed the line for permissible work conduct. The poster was summarily fired. Chrysler issued a new post letting us all know what happened, who was at fault and what corrective action was taken. That wasn't enough though. And Chrysler followed up by announcing they would no longer need social media services and support from the agency that fired its employee.
Fair enough. For some though, including me and some leaving comments on the first post, I'm left scratching my head between making sure the brand isn't tarnished in any way, shape or form, and letting what could have been an honest mistake and turn it into a learning moment. Let me be clear, that doesn't mean leaving the tweet up for all to see or perhaps letting said Tweeter work on the account or even at the agency any more, which is now a line item on LinkedIn and a supposed black mark on social media. But, there's an opportunity here to do what others have done to turn a negative into something more meaningful.
For example, take what the Red Cross did of late. Admit to the mistake, correct it but let the universe including those who do pay too much attention to "He Who Shall Not Be Named" (and no that's not Lord Volermort), know that we don't condone bad behavior and in this case profanity. Then, ask them to tell us why you follow us, what you want to hear more from us and let us know which city in America is the best to drive in.
Embrace your community, and perhaps, use the moment in the limelight to show why you get social media participation and what you have to offer. There are more than a few ironies emerging out of this. Chrysler increased its number of Twitter followers in the process. And, the company claims that those mentioning its use of Eminem was mostly about salesmanship and nothing more. I guess association with a musician who has more parental warnings about explicit language on their album is fine as long as they don't guest Tweet on the company's behalf.
I know there's little discussion of this as a result of this week's events, but I for one, don't feel any more like buying a Chrysler now than I did before. Shouldn't that factor in to what is going on and be of tantamount interest? Or am I just *%@!$ kidding myself too?
Disclosure: I don't follow "He Who Shall Not Be Named" although have a morbid curiousity in events, and am tempted. I don't own a Chrysler car currently, but did once. I don't follow @chryslerautos and don't plan to anytime soon. And, to the best of my knowledge, I don't recall using profane language in any of my social media networks.