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Top Twitter faux pas of 2011 so far

Twitter is one of the most prevalent social networking sites on the Internet with well over 200 million users.

As with all social media, Twitter is a relational platform. On it, interaction and engagement between customer and brand has the potential to lead to functional connections.

Surely this is the perfect tool for PR strategists? A chance to connect to masses online, releasing current information- all at your own discretion…

However despite its benefits, the micro blogging tool should be approached with caution. Time and time again, we hear of the latest twitter blunder: company or celebrity has mistakenly  ‘over shared’, ‘overstated’, or tweeted inaccurate information during the heat of the moment.

Like a volcanic explosion; one erroneous tweet can flood the globe in an instant – to the detriment of any positive PR! This is not to say that it cannot be salvaged, it is up to quick-thinking social media experts and reputation management teams to act fast. Here are two very different tweeting faux pas from this year so far.

Katie Prices’ skinny snaps challenge ‘role model’ reputation.

Unsurprisingly, celebrities often find themselves at the forefront of Twitter controversy; once again bringing up that oh so familiar debate –‘any publicity is good publicity’. In July, Katie Price found herself in the media firing line.

Katie Price is branded publically as a role model for young girls. So when she posted images of her ‘emaciated’ looking stomach on twitter, campaigners questioned her well-branded reputation. Instead accusing her of giving girls unrealistic expectations.

In this case, Katie’s teams removed the images from twitter. But it would seem the action was too little too late- this did little to prevent the negative media backlash. On the up side – Katie’s actions yet again had her discussed in the national press – creating publicity for both herself and the recent ‘juice diet’ she has been promoting.

Morrison’s miss the media mark.

In some cases, corporate unfamiliarity with social media can result in negative perceptions for the company. One example of this occurred when Morrison’s supermarket joined twitter in August.

Here’s how Morrison’s social media team responded to a surge of customer complaints on twitter: ‘We are sorry to hear that the people of Tunbridge Wells are upset. Please express your opinions in a letter to head office.’ After Morrisons then reminded customers again not to contact them with queries via Twitter.

This is an example of how corporate companies misuse Twitter. Instead of responding to individual tweets, creating engagement and an interactive relationship with customers, Morrison’s repeatedly bypassed all customer complaints, appearing both insensitive and uninterested in customer concerns.

It seems everyone, business or personality can learn from the past Twitter faux pas of others.



  1. Shame that Morrisons also managed to make a massive spelling error as well. It helps if those implementing social media strategy at least know the difference between words like here and hear.

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