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Does KitchenAid’s Rogue Tweet Really Matter?


If you check out KitchenAid’s tweets around the time of last night’s United States presidential debate, this is what you’ll find:

kitchenaid tweet

The “irresponsible tweet” to which they are referring was deleted pretty quickly – but not so quickly that no one noticed. After President Obama talked about his grandmother dying just three days before he got elected, KitchenAid tweeted:

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

As David Griner noted on Adweek, it’s going to be a bad Thursday for whoever accidentally tweeted from the KitchenAid account instead of their personal account, and it’s also going to be a bad Thursday for the people who trusted that person.

But I have to wonder: Does a social media flub like this one really hurt the brand?

That tweet was disgusting. I don’t care who you’re voting for – making a joke about someone’s deceased family member is tasteless. There’s no argument about that.

What I’m arguing is that people who want a KitchenAid mixer probably aren’t going to not buy one because of a rogue tweet by someone on their social media staff. I obviously don’t catch every tweet by the company, but I’ve never seen or heard of them tweeting something irresponsible before. They also corrected and apologized for the tweet extremely quickly. If this was a repeat problem or ignored by the company, that might make me stop and think twice about buying a KitchenAid product.

Simply put, however, this single tweet doesn’t. Someday when I have a bigger kitchen, I fully intend to own a bright red KitchenAid mixer, and I will continue to tell people exactly how much I love using the one my mom owns every time I visit her.

Within the hour of the rogue tweet, dozens of blogs and media outlets had already reported it, and several people on Twitter were angrily responding to the tweet. But are we, as an industry, overreacting?

As a consumer, would you not purchase a KitchenAid product just because of this tweet?

As a business owner, would you fire this social media worker, even if he/she had never made a mistake before?

Corporate Social Media Principles


This morning Business Week wrote an excellent post on corporations adopting (or not adopting) social media called, “Social Media Exposes the Corporate Psychopath.” The article addresses the need for corporations to get over themselves and their fear of social media.

According to a poll by Harris Interactive, corporations are seen as one of the least trusted overall entities (compared against congress, law offices, etc). Social media can help increase trust between users and corporations by allowing corporations to become a bit more transparent. What exactly is transparent? Well transparent is actively engaging in and interacting with your users, transparent is answering questions and addressing concerns directly, transparent is providing more company information via a public medium such as a blog, transparent is giving users more insight into the corporate culture and company goals.

Businessweek calls this need for companies to engage in social media, “21st Century Responsibility” and I couldn’t agree more. According to G. Michael Maddock and Raphael Louis Vitón (the writers of the Businessweek article) there are 3 fundamental principles that corporations need to adhere to in order to master social media.

The first principle is “architect a proper presence”
This deals with identifying your communities, both who they are and where they are, and understanding how to engage with those communities.

The second principle is “Gain Credibility Based on Your Target’s World View”
This principle basically states that you should do what you can to help your communities instead of trying to always sell to them.

The third and final principle is “Co-Creating Dialogue Where Your Company Reaps the Benefit of Exchange”

This principle focuses on building actual relationships with your communities by exchanging ideas and emotions.

These principles make for a solid foundation that companies should follow if they want to succeed in the social media space.

What do you think about the above 3 principles?  Would you add any more?

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Are Fortune 500 Companies Adopting Social Media?


This study was conducted by The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research and is a follow up to a similar study they conducted in 2007.  209 companies participated and were asked how familiar they were with blogging, podcasting, online video, wikis, and social networking.

According to the results of the new study, social networking was the most familiar among the companies that participated in the study.

Blogging also received an enormous jump as more and more fortune 500 companies are understanding the value of a blog.  This is definitely great to see!  According to the study 77% of the companies that participated in the study reported using some sort of social media.

The graph below shows that blogging is definitely becoming a staple in the social media strategy for the fortune 500 and the growth should only continue from here.

In 2007 when the companies were asked how important they viewed social media, 26% of the companies said that social media was “very important.”  In 2008 that figure rose by 18%, 44% of the companies now say that social media is “very important.”

The results of this study show that social media is continuing to grow among the fortune 500 companies.  This means that events like Blog World Expo are going to continue to be a haven for for companies and individuals looking to learn about blogging, social media, and the value of the conversation. If you want more information check out the full study.

Are you going to Blog World Expo?

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