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How you respond to a social media mishap says a lot about your brand

From Oreo publicizing social media goals that it could not meet to Nestle’s Facebook rant against environmentalists, examples of corporate social media mishaps are everywhere. These incidents teach us that more social media may be the only way to combat social media fiascos. And without properly crafted responses, companies lose out on an opportunity to engage with customers on a human level.

Today, Chrysler took the cake when it tweeted to 7,000+ followers, “I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to f***ing drive.” A few followers managed to retweet it before the post was deleted.

Chrysler’s social media mishap follows on the heels of February’s ubiquitous Red Cross drunken tweet in which the social media manager mistook the corporate account for her personal one and posted, “Ryan found two more 4 bottle packs of Dogfish Head’s Midas Touch beer…when we drink we do it right #gettngslizzerd.”

Whether companies realize it or not, consumers are contrasting the follow-up responses to these incidents and drawing conclusions about the companies’ brands based on the tone and words they employ for damage control. Compare the responses:





Which response resonates with you? For me, the answer is simple: With the Red Cross, I hear the candid, self-deprecating, and lighthearted voice of a real employee representing the brand. I want to learn more about this person, how she made such a mistake, and how an international humanitarian organization came to hire a hardworking young woman who occasionally enjoys a few beers after work. Translation: I’m engaged.

With Chrysler, I imagine a team of stoic compliance officers, marketing executives, and lawyers being called to an emergency meeting, only to come up with a generic and vague response when they put their heads together. Their response, at best, prevents me from searching for more info on the incident and, at worst, makes me think twice about a Chrysler for my next car purchase. Translation: You’ve lost me.

Regardless of the company’s response, Hearsay Social prevents your company from dropping f-bombs, and will help you catch them if you do. Learn how by contacting