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Social Media Snafus

shocked woman looking at computer screen

As recent snafus show, monitoring your social media channels is a full-time job

They say hindsight is 20/20—and when social media disasters happen to businesses, it’s tempting to look back at which decisions could have been made differently to avoid them. When online engagement backfires, though, the decisions you make next are just as important. That means full-time monitoring of your social media channels and the ability to overcome customers’ negative perceptions. What can you take away from these recent social media horror stories?

Inappropriate image sends US Airways Twitter feed off-course

On April 14th, US Airways found itself engaged in an increasingly heated Twitter conversation with a customer. After previously tweeting to the customer regarding a recent delay, the airline published another response containing a lewd image of a woman and model airplane. The tweet was online for approximately an hour before being removed. The same picture had been attached to a tweet sent to @AmericanAir 30 minutes before the US Airways post—both airlines use the same social media tool.

When the issue was discovered, the airline removed the post and tweeted an apology (which has received over 14,000 retweets and 11,000 favorites). US Airways later released an apology statement on Twitter, but the fact that this image remained online for an hour is a cautionary tale to any business engaging online and clearly can be a full-time job.

Recent #myNYPD social media campaign backfires with wave of anti-cop messages

It all started with an innocent (if naïve) invitation from the New York Police Department: “Do you have a photo w/ a member of the NYPD? Tweet us & tag it #myNYPD. It may be featured on our Facebook.” The responses didn’t take long to start rolling in—but they weren’t exactly what the NYPD expected. Instead, tweeters shared images referring to alleged cases of police brutality, first in New York and then spreading to cities like Chicago, Albuquerque, and Los Angeles.

The wave of social media responses referred to both well-known historical cases and more recent instances. Over 110,000 tweets with the hashtag #myNYPD were submitted before Police Commissioner Bill Bratton responded, saying he welcomed the negative responses and that many of the images referred to old stories. In response to the claims of excessive force, Bratton told reporters, “Often times police activities are lawful, but look awful.”

Is your social media monitoring framework in place?

3 Birds actively identifies problems like these each month and works quickly to intercept and address them. Both the speed and quality of your response can have a significant impact on how customers perceive your business in the wake of a social media disaster. But placing one of your own team members on constant “hall monitor” duty isn’t necessarily a cost-effective solution. Learn more about our Loyalty & Engagement services and count on peace of mind no matter what your dealership's social media future brings.