With the rise of mobile internet and social networking over the last couple of years, social media has been increasingly populated with corporate voices, and Vodafone are one of the brave companies which have taken a chance on Twitter. Unfortunately, today saw a mysterious tweet from the Vodafone twitter account, announcing Vodafone “is fed up of dirty homo’s and is going after beaver”.
The tweet was deleted almost immediately but was not missed by Twitter’s dedicated tweeters, who reposted and retweeted the message, and demanded an explanation from Vodafone. Vodafone made their apologies, and admitted that there had been a “breach of rules by staff”. I’m sure they’ll be more careful about what they tweet in the future, but to some extent the damage is already done. Social Media is a great way of businesses connecting with customers on their own terms, but getting it wrong can be disastrous, with the smallest mistake causing a massive stir.
And it’s not just offensive homophobic messages which will be publicised and criticised; Habitat were criticised for their use of hashtags on Twitter, attempting to cash in on various different Trending Topics including the Iranian election. Social media can be a dangerous place for businesses, particuarly those with strong brand names, so be careful, or get a professional to manage your social media presence.