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Oh, Please! Not Another “Social Media Lesson” Post…

You’ll be reading all about it today. Someone who (now formerly) worked for a brand (in this case, KitchenAid) @#$%&! up and sent a pretty distasteful tweet on the company account:

“Obamas gma even knew it was going 2 b bad! ‘She died 3 days b4 he became president.”

Captain Hindsight to the rescue!

Pretty bad, right? No, just straight bad. If someone joked about my deceased grandma, I would probably cut them. Or at least hire someone to do it since I’m a little skittish about blood.

Of course, Mashable had a story up in 3 seconds microanalyzing it and even though a clear apology was made very quickly and it seems as though swift action was taken, everyone will use this as an opportunity to grandstand, talk about the proper way to handle social media and how they obviously need to hire a new marketing agency. They’ll talk about the damage to the brand, how they can win customers back, how the rules have changed and best practices going forward. They will say they didn’t apologize soon enough, or the right way, or something (anything!) to boost their crappy blog post.

It will all be really, really annoying.

How do I know this?

It happens every. single. time.

You know what you can do with your social media lesson post? Shove it. Stop writing them. They’re condescending and only add to the stupidity of the situation. Oh really? They shouldn’t have made the mistake in the first place? Great insight there, champ.

People’s memories are like goldfish when it comes to gaffes like this. If you are a non-marketer, how many of these online gaffes could you rattle off without checking out the above links? I even forgot about Qwikster by Netflix and that was one of the dumbest ideas ever.

We need to be realistic about the damage that we are talking about here. Is it a mess? Sure. But it can be cleaned up pretty quickly by nearly anyone with some sensible (and even old school) PR training. Fix the issue immediately, apologize, monitor, respond and move on. What’s the BFD?

Oh yeah! The rules have changed! And our web 2.0, crowdsourced, social media interwebz will collapse if you don’t read the “5 lessons from the @KitchenAidUSA DISASTER” post from a social media expert with a Blogspot account.

The self-importance? The supposed best practices grasped out of thin air? Statements about brand impact that you can’t possibly know?

Let’s make this social media gaffe our last to drop a hundred posts about. That is, until the next one.

By Lance Haun

Strategy for The Starr Conspiracy. Former HR pro. Portland guy (Go Blazers!) and WSU alum (Go Cougs!). I get to write about what I want here.

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