Auto Tweeting: Tread carefully and anticipate problems


By: Susan Finco, President, Leonard & Finco Public Relations

 

We know a lot of people, companies and brands like to auto tweet and we understand why. Not everyone can have a phone in their hand all day (or sit by a computer all day) to spontaneously Tweet nuggets of information or observations or respond to posts.

The downside of auto tweeting became apparent recently when Coca-Cola launched its #MakeItHappy campaign during the Super Bowl.  Twitter users were urged to mark negative tweets with the #MakeItHappy hashtag.  Nice idea in this often negative world of anonymous social media.  But it didn’t take long for it to go awry. A Gawker prank quickly derailed the whole thing and Coca Cola suspended the campaign.  (For details of the story, read: http://bit.ly/1ubPF6c)

The point is, you not only have to be strategic in developing social media campaigns, but you also have to anticipate problems and challenges. Ask yourself: what’s the worst thing that could happen with this campaign? How will we handle unintended consequences?  It doesn’t mean you have to stop your campaign before it launches, but you need to be prepared. Could Coca-Cola have anticipated the problem?  Maybe or maybe not. But I hope their team at least discussed the possibility. Sometimes we get caught up in the excitement over a creative and innovative campaign or idea. But it’s equally important to weigh the downsides before you proceed and be ready to act quickly should it go haywire.