@KitchenAidUSA: Social Media Mishaps and How to Recover

While everyone seems to have a different opinion of who won the Presidential Debate last night, it seems somebody is definitely the loser:

This tweet came from the @KitchenAidUSA account during the debate on Wednesday night.

It was quickly deleted and replaced by these tweets (starting at the bottom):

There has been a lot of discussion about the incident on social media since it happened, with some jumping to the brand’s defence and others threatening to boycott KitchenAid products entirely. Let’s be honest: the offending tweet is bad. Real bad. The offender not only insulted the president of the United States and his poor family who lost their grandmother at a very emotional time for them, but he/she also made a very political comment which is something most brands try their hardest to avoid. All while using the official hashtag for the presidential debate, ensuring that people around the world saw the tweet. Yeah, that’s pretty much worst case scenario for a brand.

The brand responded to the tweet almost immediately. What happened behind the scenes is unclear (and something I’m itching to know) but within 3 hours of their apology for the “irresponsible tweet”, the President of the KitchenAidUSA brand posted several messages and owned up to the mistake. They also began the process of contacting media outlets to set up interviews and address the issue.

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The bottom line is: mistakes do happen, even to the best of us. I have a policy of double checking the account I’m on before I press “send” and to avoid mistakes I keep my personal accounts on a separate dashboard than my client accounts. Does this mean I’ll never make the mistake? Definitely not. But I also have a plan in place for each brand I manage in case the mistake does happen. That, and I don’t make a habit of broadcasting offensive messages in the first place, even from my personal account.

And while I hope to never make as serious of a blunder myself on any of the accounts that I manage, I’m proud to work within an organization that has set a precedent for owning their social media mishaps (and going on to win 2012 Digital PR Team of the Year).

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2 Comments

  1. October 5, 2012 / 10:47 am

    When I first read this my first reaction was that they have a junior person tweeting. Many companies delegate social media to coordinators or whoever else is on the bottom rung. Even if it had been a mistake of switching up Twitter accounts I doubt someone with a bit of years under their belt would be tweeting that from their personal account either.

    But agreed, I thought they handled it well and that’s the real story.