Making the rounds in the digital press this week is the epic fail by @KitchenAidUSA during Wednesday’s presidential debate. This tasteless tweet was sent out by a member of the KitchenAid social media team who…quite obviously, thought he or she were using a personal account. O0ps.
Since many of us were watching the debate live streaming or on channels featuring a Twitter stream of the debates, this was a really, really bad time to hit the wrong button on Hootsuite! It shows though, that it’s really, really important to make sure you have the right people on your social media team; by right people, I mean experienced people.
Now, I must admit, that I have, a time or two, accidentally hit “reply all” without meaning to, but I’ve been managing brand social media accounts for far too long to not have set up safeguards to avoid just the sort of thing that happened on Wednesday night. It does happen though, far too often, if perhaps not so publicly to brand after brand who mistake personal social media experience for expertise.
As you would not dream of having a PR intern or junior staffer be the spokesperson for the company, it is clearly inappropriate to assign the public mouthpiece of the company online to the most junior of employees, rather than to experienced social media managers..
Professional social media managers, go beyond tweeting or posting and engulf themselves in the marketing of the brand. This means immersing themselves in the personality of the brand to engage the passion of the users. This means knowing which tools make life easier and which make life easier…but too often set you up for failure too.
While barely a profession yet, incidents like these make us see the need for training in social media. When we do our full day and half day sessions one of the biggest questions we are asked is about tools. What do you think of Hootsuite? How about Tweetdeck? How often should I schedule posts? This is what leads to tweets like those one put out by KitchenAid.
The real questions should be: How do I best get to know our fans? How can I tell when I’m engaging? How can I avoid making mistakes!