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Entenmann's Discovers a Fourth Type of 'Self-Destructive Corporate Tweet'

Back in April, I discussed a post on the Convince & Convert blog on "The 3 Types of Self-Destructive Corporate Tweets." Jay Baer broke the types of self-destructive tweets into three categories:

Type 1: "Wrong Pipe" -- when the person responsible for tweeting for a company accidentally tweets from the company's account rather than from his or her individual Twitter account. The U.S. Secret Service recently learned about "wrong pipe" tweets the hard way.

Type 2: "Tone Deaf" -- tweets that go beyond a careless error to questions of appropriateness, as in the example below from shoe CEO Kenneth Cole:

Kenneth Cole s Egypt Tweet  Train Wreck! The 3 Types of Self Destructive Corporate Tweets
Type 3: "Too Much Information" -- where people "misplace the filter between mind and keyboard," such as when a former Ketchum executive tweeted the following on the way to visit his client, FedEx:

keyinfluencertweet 300x38 Train Wreck! The 3 Types of Self Destructive Corporate Tweets

A tweet Tuesday by baked goods company Entenmann's has me thinking that we may need to add a fourth type of self-destructive tweet to the list. Entenmann's tweet, discussed below, initially looks like a "tone deaf" tweet, but it is different in that it lacks the requisite mens rea. Let's call it ...

Type 4: Tweet First, Ask Questions Later -- when people try to promote their product by blindly jumping on board a trending Twitter hashtag. As Entenmann's learned, doing so may result, unwittingly, in a Kenneth Cole Type 2 embarrassment if you later learn that the trending hashtag (e.g., "#notguilty) relates to the controversial acquittal of a woman on child murder charges. Here is Entenmann's Type 4 tweet following the Casey Anthony "not guilty" verdict, and its subsequent apology (via Consumerist):


Entenmann's social media agency, Likeable -- which posted the tweet on Entenmann's behalf -- issued its own statement apologizing for the tweet:

The Entenmann’s brand relies on us for our expertise in social media and unfortunately we let them down. We apologized on behalf of the Entenmann’s brand right away, however, as the leader of Entenmann’s social media agency, I would like to personally say I’m sorry if the tweet offended anyone. The truth is, our team was leveraging the trending topics and moving so fast they neglected to see what the hashtag was related to. It was obviously insensitive, and on behalf of the entire Likeable team and our client, Entenmann’s, I’m sorry.

Posted by Bruce Carton on July 6, 2011 at 04:22 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)


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