A quick scan of today’s news tells of three stories showing both the good and bad uses of social media.
Stephen’s Story – members of the public have been rallied by famous people, including comedian Jason Manford, to help dying teen Stephen Sutton to raise £1million for the Teenage Cancer Trust. The target was part of the ‘bucket list’ created by Stephen as his cancer became inoperable, and currently stands at £1,128,608.29 (as of 1.15pm on Wednesday 23rd April). This show of support presents the good that social media can do in communities and in response to an eloquent and worthy appeal.
To support Stephen: https://www.justgiving.com/Stephen-Sutton-TCT
NYPD Hashtag Disaster – BBC News reported this morning that the New York Police Department encouraged followers to post photos of themselves with local police officers with the hashtag #myNYPD, which was quickly overtaken by users posting photos showing possible police aggression by the force. The NYPD responded with a statement saying “Twitter provides an open forum for an uncensored exchange and this is an open dialogue good for our city.”
Let’s not get started on the tweet sent to a customer from US Airways recently, which is still being investigated…
All of this shows that all social media campaigns should be carefully thought through prior to going live. You should try and consider all possible reactions to the campaign, and even though you can never please everyone, try not to walk into a situation where your brand or company is exposed.