Yesterday, a well renowned PR agency lost its biggest account after a very unwise tweet from its official account -
PR agency loses biggest account with a single tweet
The PR Agency, Redner Group, was immediately fired by the client, popular game publisher 2K (of Duke Nukem Forever, Civilization V and BioShock fame).
We have also seen the recent case with Chrysler, when an employee from their social media agency on record, New Media Strategies, tweeted from the official Chrysler account by mistake instead of his personal account, "I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to fucking drive." Again, the employee was immediately fired, and Chrysler severed all ties with the media agency.
Chrysler Dumps Social Media Firm After Twitter Obscenity
Red Cross too has committed such mistakes, when an employee with access to their official twitter account, used that account by mistake instead of his own personal account and tweeted something not very "Red Cross-y" :)
Red Cross Twitter Faux Pas
And remember the U.S. Secret Service agent who tweeted, "Had to monitor Fox for a story. Can't. Deal. With. The. Blathering." and then realized he tweeted using the official Secret Service twitter id @SecretService and not his personal id, but by then, it was too late... lolz. Was he fired? Nobody knows, after all, it is the Secret Service. But I can bet my ass he was definitely transferred to Alaska. :D
If you guys have noticed yesterday too, there was a very strange tweet (lksdfghdfkg) from Hindustan Times twitter account @HTTweets. Of course they apologized and deleted the tweet immediately but people noticed it and it went viral like crazy. People tweeted:
Shahid Kapoor: Today's guest editor for Hindustan Times. RT @htTweets lksdfghdfkg
BREAKING: Sharad Pawar to Hindustan Times RT @htTweets: lksdfghdfkg
People at Hindustan Times are having sex on the keyboard. RT @htTweets lksdfghdfkg
We don't let our clients embarrass themselves like this RT @htTweets lksdfghdfkg
Things like this do happen a lot.
Even some time ago when GupShup was popular, I used to maintain a gupshup account courtesy a Mizo community site I run, with almost 1000 Mizos subscribed to our site’s news+posts updates. Once I sent a very embarrassing update by mistake while I was replying to another GupShup account... I didn't put the @ properly at the beginning of my reply, and so that sms instead went to the mobile phones of all those who were subscribed to our site's gupshup updates!
VERY embarrassing, especially since the gupshup account I was trying to reply to was sex related... ahem... and some of the honorary members and visitors of our site include the Chief Minister of Mizoram, Pastors, IAS officers, professors etc.. :(
What I'm trying to say is... in today's age of social media, many of us have access to twitter and facebook accounts of our clients, where the face of their company is actually represented by somebody who's not even a part of that company.
A few seconds of careless or hasty tweet can lead to a lifetime of regret, so we need to be extra careful when using our twitter and facebook accounts. Always check that it is YOUR personal account you are currently using, and not the brand's official account.
This is especially important for those of us who love trying out new apps and twitter/facebook clients on our mobile phones. Take extra caution as you may not be familiar with the settings of the new app, and end up using a client's account by mistake.
Posting stupid tweets on your account that can get you into trouble later (like Congressman Wiener) - well, that is your problem. But mistaking corporate accounts for your personal account - that can indeed be avoided if you're careful enough.