How to Enrage, not Engage, Your Twitter Followers | TechWell

How to Enrage, not Engage, Your Twitter Followers

Only seven years old, Twitter is still relatively new—though that hardly excuses those who attempt to swindle the platform’s users, whether it’s for marketing or customer service purposes. This week saw more social slipups than usual, one even coming from Twitter itself.

Hopefully we’re past the days of retailers trying to cash in during times of their customers’ duress, like during a natural disaster, as there was monumental backlash against every company that tried this in the past. While not quite as tasteless as these earlier fails, Chipotle pulled a bonehead move this week when they faked a hack of their own Twitter account—just to get new followers during the “attack.”

The stunt was to celebrate the company’s twentieth anniversary, and while you may wonder why would they do this, the company says the response to the move has been “overwhelmingly positive.” Mediabistro reports:

Chipotle’s Twitter account added more than 4,000 followers on Sunday, the day of the “hack”, compared to its normal rate of about 250 new followers per day. The “hacked” tweets, which have not been deleted, were retweeted about 12,000 times. By comparison, Chipotle’s Twitter account usually sees about 75 retweets per day.

We’ll see how many of those four thousand new followers stick around once they find out they were duped.

Bank of America, who has struggled with their own public image during the US housing crisis, made their own gaffe last week. Cold, emotionless tweets—assumed by many to have been sent by bots—were actually found to have been sent by human Bank of America employees to people angry at the bank.

This wasn’t information the banking giant was trying to hide, but perhaps they should have. When Bank of America eliminated the confusion as to who sent the tweets, the way was cleared for people to feel the bank was even more heartless than they did before.

Perhaps Twitter could put out a guide about how to keep consumers and customers happy. As the geniuses behind the site, they should know how to use it correctly, right?

Not exactly.

Twitter created perhaps the week’s biggest PR fail in a blog post of theirs that used fake tweets to explain the company’s new TV commercial integration. What’s wrong with that? Wouldn’t the tweets have to be fake since they haven’t even unveiled this new campaign? Well, sure—they just didn’t have to appear to be sent from actual Twitter accounts. By abusing only three actual Twitter users’ accounts, Twitter has managed to earn the distrust of thousands of their customers. Those users have expressed that Twitter’s “one-tweet” apology isn’t enough; one of the users is considering possible legal action.

Twitter's claim—“Once we became aware of this mistake we took it down immediately"—is interesting on two fronts. One: How exactly did Twitter become aware of its own mistake? And two: Twitter, if anyone, should know that once you tweet it out there, it’s out there forever, whether you take it down or not. Someone, somehow, always has a screenshot.


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