Attention, brands trying to be hip to the “Twitters”: while it can sometimes be good exposure to mention one of the trending words or topics publicized on the right sidebar of the site, make sure that you know what that trending topic is referring to. At minimum, make sure that it doesn’t refer to anything negative or potentially offensive. Such as a highly publicized murder trial.
That’s exactly what Entenmann’s, maker of unnaturally tasty baked goods, did yesterday afternoon. Twitter users reacting to the Casey Anthony trial verdict made the tag #notguilty a trending topic. Someone at the company’s social media agency worked the trending hashtag into a tweet, with the end result seen above.
Likeable, the social media agency that staffs the company’s tweets, quickly tweeted an apology and the CEO issued a statement:
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. Please know that I am working on refining our process to ensure that this does not happen again.
The incident even prompted a parody account, @EntenmannsPR.
The lesson here, which applies outside of Twitter as well? Don’t rush to play along with trends before finding out what they’re actually about.