Just another corporate social media failure

Just another corporate social media failure

Social media failure from AT&T

Social media failure from AT&T

Just another corporate social media failure – this time a marketing mess-up from AT&T.

There are still companies that need to recognize that a social media presence is not a billboard – it’s not an empty space that you can buy and slap your message on.

AT&T had to remove a Twitter message commemorating the 12th anniversary of the 11th September attacks after social media users criticized the company for capitalizing on the event to promote its own products.

The company’s message showed a smartphone user taking a picture of the Tribute in Light memorial in New York City. The memorial features two columns of light representing the fallen Twin Towers. “Never Forget,” the post said.

Many on Twitter had a quick and negative response to the picture, calling it “tacky,” “gross” and saying that this was no time for “product placement.”

ATT Twitter Attack

The apology wasn’t enough to quell angry Twitter users, some of whom considered AT&T’s mea-culpa to be tone-deaf:

ATT Twitter Attack - Apology

AT&T posted the same image and message to the company’s Facebook page, but that post remained up for two hours before it was deleted.

Other companies caused similar outrage

“Tributes” posted by other companies caused similar outrage and eye-rolling, blurring the line between commemoration and advertising.

Remember 9/11 - Press Pass Twitter

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About The Author

Torben Rick

Experienced senior executive, both at a strategic and operational level, with strong track record in developing, driving and managing business improvement, development and change management. International experience from management positions in Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.

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