Going Rogue: Mistweets Happen

This week, the Red Cross fell victim to a much publicized mistweet. Unlike the Kenneth Cole mishap (see my previous blog) that happened recently, a woman got her Red Cross twitter and personal twitter mixed up. The result? A personal (and slightly embarrassing) tweet on the Red Cross’s account for all of its 250,000+ followers to see.

To summarize what happened next, the Red Cross came back with a comical reply to inform their Twitter followers that the whole thing was just a mix-up. The woman who actually wrote the tweet also came forward and took responsibility for it on her personal Twitter (where the initial tweet was supposed to be posted.)

For the sake of space and time, I’m not going to go into all of the details of the situation, but here is a great article that explains the series of events involving the rogue Red Cross tweet.

After posting a question on Twitter asking what everyone thought about how the Red Cross handled their situation, I quickly received this reply from Jackie Mitchell, Director of Marketing and Communications from the Red Cross of Greater Chicago.

I love how Jackie puts it. When mistweets happen, the organization cannot decided the outcome, BUT with an active social media community, a great organization, a trusting boss, a combination of  seriousness and sense of humor and a little bit of karma, the ability to come out on top of the situation is amazing.

The Red Cross also posted this blog, which sums up nicely how they dealt with the rogue tweet. (Pay special attention to their “2 words of caution” listed at the bottom, I still can’t get over how much I love their sense of humor.)

Here are the top 5 lessons I learned from Red Cross’s reaction to their Twitter mix-up.

  1. Everyone makes mistakes: The people who run Twitter for various organizations are real people and the Red Cross is no exception. Technology is confusing and everyone is bound to make a mistake or two.
  2. Delete the comment, but make sure you tell everyone you did and explain what happened: Just deleting the Tweet or comment is suspicious. Acknowledging something as a mistake is much more understandable than deleting something and leaving readers to question “…what was that?”
  3. Laugh at yourself: What else can you do? If you worry about losing a job because of a mistweet, remember that a general rule of thumb is to not post anything on-line that you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see or read.
  4. Move on: Don’t dwell on the situation. Everyone wishes they had a magical time machine to rewind time and re-do some situations, but magical time machines don’t exist. Deal with the effects from the mistweet and be done with it.
  5. Don’t let it happen again: Everyone understands that accidents happen, once in a while. Frequent mistweets show un-professionalism and in effect lowers your organizations credibility.

Note: These tips only refer to situations where someone accidentally posted a tweet onto a different Twitter than it was meant for, and are not for cases where people tweet something they never should have tweeted in the first place (example: Kenneth Cole.)

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2 thoughts on “Going Rogue: Mistweets Happen

  1. I blogged about this Twitter mishap too, but I love how you took it one step further and actually got in contact with a representative from the Red Cross. Also, I agree with you that these tips and a situation like this one are only acceptable if the Tweet was never meant to come from the organization’s Twitter in the first place (just like Kenneth Cole – I can’t believe that either). I can definitely appreciate that the Red Cross responded with a sense of humor and were understanding that everyone makes mistakes. I feel like it can be really common in the world of social media for expectations to be very high – which they should. But that there can be a lack of understanding when a mistake is made, unless of course, it seems intentional (*cough* Kenneth Cole…). I think that one of my favorite aspects of this issue was that the subject of the initial rogue tweet, Dogfish Beer, was also so responsive and used the initial tweet to establish a relationship with the Red Cross and their followers – so smart. I’d say that Dogfish’s PR team definitely knew what they were doing on that one!

  2. Pingback: Ducklings Take Flight! My Favorite Posts from Winter Term Students | PRos in Training

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