A Harsh Lesson in Social Media

23 Jul

We were, and still are, utterly shocked and saddened by the senseless shooting in Colorado.

You may have, like many others, taken to social media (namely Twitter) to extend your condolences and prayers.

If you are familiar with Twitter, there are trending topics that you can see on a global scale as well as on a local scale. On Friday, it was unsurprising that #Aurora was trending – everyone was talking about the nightmare that had struck that city.

Was it possible to use #Aurora incorrectly?

In fact, there was, if you chose to skimp on a quick Google search. Not everything that trends is good or positive.

A UK retailer didn’t bother researching what #Aurora was referring to, and immediately jumped on it as an opportunity to tweet and advertise one of its products. Insensitive, ignorant, horrifying, and really, just plain stupid! Although the retailer sent out a series of tweets as an apology, the damage was done.

What terrible PR.

In an age of technology where the world is even more intertwined than ever before, there honestly is no excuse to not be aware of major news, particularly tragedies. Even if an entire ocean and thousands of miles separate two nations, it is really only a matter of hours or minutes before news spreads.

As retailers, it is even more important to be fully aware of how social media tools are used. As wonderful as social media can be, clearly, it can go so very wrong. The public isn’t very forgiving. When a business does something wrong, the error spreads extremely quickly in the worst way possible, like a wildfire. And, cleaning up after the mess, is a monumental task.

Our hearts are with Aurora and the Colorado community at large…

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