Brands Aren’t Going To Quit Tweeting About Current Events

Image courtesy of Tom Raftery

When major news event happen, the people who run brands’ social media accounts have a tough choice: should they mention it or not? When things go wrong, people accuse you of using the deaths of beloved celebrities to hawk shoes or cereal. The problem, though, is that the rewards for brands are too great, and they aren’t about to stop trying just because a few people are offended.

Over at Bloomberg, Polly Mosendz looked into why brands have a compulsive need to be relevant. Social media lets them be part of the conversation immediately, even when the conversation isn’t actually about them, or remotely related to their brand.

“They want their communications to hit when people are paying attention to some issue going on in the world,” Matthew Quint, the director of the brand leadership center at Columbia Business School, explained. People are talking about a power outage on their smartphones: why not make them think about Oreos?

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The rewards of popular posts like these are great, but the problem is that it’s hard to get the tone exactly right. For now, it seems that social media mavens are tweeting first, then dealing with the rewards or fallout later.

Even if brands take down offending tweets immediately, they still get some free publicity. At least if people are talking about your deleted tweet and sharing screengrabs, they’re still talking about your brand.

Why ‘Thirsty’ Brand Tweets About Dead Celebrities Won’t Go Away [Bloomberg]

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