Digital & Social Media

How to Lose With a Dumb Tweet


What Happened: As the World Cup continues to generate major buzz around the globe, brands remain intent on identifying clever ways to join the conversation. Unfortunately, there were some telling screw-ups including a major social misstep by Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM) in which the carrier posted what critics called an ethnically offensive tweet targeted at losing team Mexico. KLM apologized not too long after, but as we all know no one likes an ungracious winner. Delta is yet another airline that also drew a penalty with its tweet congratulating the USA soccer team’s victory over Ghana. The tweet used the Statue of Liberty to represent the US and a giraffe to represent Ghana. One problem: Ghana doesn’t have any giraffes. Even the Hertfordshire police in England ran afoul with World Cup tweets. At one point, the department tweeted: Colombia face Uruguay in the FIFA World Cup. To report drug dealing visit… And then during a halftime of the Nigeria-Argentina game, the Hertfordshire police sent out a tweet on avoiding fraud.

What This Means for Brands: While there is considerable opportunity that comes with social, there is also considerable risk. Speed and immediacy are important, but not at the expense of accuracy and good taste.

Contributing to TRENDING items are Amanda Ayotte, Ephraim Cohen, Michelle Choi, Michelle Goodwin, Lisa Helfer, Jeff Maldonado, Stephanie O’Malley, Lauren Price and Abby Ray.