Today consumers want to connect with the different companies that they often interact with. Studies have shown that millennials prefer that their favorite brands would become more personable through continuous conversation with them. When a company is on Twitter they need to converse with their audience as often as possible. When the consumer leaves feedback, it is in the best interest for the company to involve themselves into conversation with them. But the company still needs to tweet good relatable content to attract their follower even if it’s repurposing or retweeting older content.
Social media has become essential to a companies growth because it will assure that your messages will reach your intended audience. Twitter is considered as a social media and online news platform that allow people to communicate with short messages up to 280 characters long, which are called tweets. With Twitter, a company or individual can offer social media campaigns, which will increase their sales, boost their brand recognition and loyalty while gaining interested and faithful followers.
However, when a crisis or an awkward situation arises for the company or the individual on Twitter, expect it to collect a continuous feed of negative feedback. The ability to stay calm is essential to the company or individual to maintain their reputation. If possible, take the conversation to a private area with the use of direct message. Twitter offers a formatted link/call to action, that will direct the follower to a direct message screen that is private. Twitter is about sharing ones’ point of view, simply and directly. Unfortunately, it can be negative and conflicting.
A company or individual can end up creating a crisis on Twitter if they aren’t careful of how they word their tweets. And, because social media is in real-time, one can never guaranty that there isn’t a follower on Twitter that sees the opposing tweet posted. Leaving a negative tweet for only a matter of seconds can create a backlash instantly with ones’ followers. And, because Twitter has a hashtag system, it now reaches a broader audience, even if the company or individual doesn’t have a lot of followers.
According to Mark Renfree, “Twitter has had an incredible effect on public discourse for years, and whether one thinks this kind of communication is ultimately good or bad, there’s one thing that’s beyond debate: people love to share their thoughts and feelings on Twitter,” (Renfree, 2016). On November 13, 2014, the Patriots made a huge mistake when they hit 1 million Twitter followers. According to Michael Rusch, “an attempt to thank their fans with an online jersey for being the 1st NFL team with 1 million Twitter followers, failed miserably when a user created a custom shirt displaying a racial slur,” (Rusch, 2014).
On November 13, 2014, at 6:47 AM, the Patriots tweeted “We’re saying thanks to @patriots’ 1million followers w/ custom digital Pats jerseys – RT for yours! #1MillionPatriots”. He also mentioned that “Everything appeared to be going fine on their Twitter feed until this Tweet showed up: @IHATENIGGERSS THANKS FOR HELPING US BECOME THE FIRST NFL TEAM WITH 1 MILLION FOLLOWERS! #1MILLIONPATRIOTS,” (Rusch, 2014). With more than 8300 retweets throughout the day, the Patriots were shocked when they had noticed the racist tweet.
And, at 10:29 PM on November 13, 2014, the Patriots tweeted: We apologize for the regrettable tweet that went out from our account. Our filtering system failed & we will be more vigilant in the future. The tweet from one of Patriots followers became known as the worse tweet of 2014. With over 4.38 million followers today, the Patriots have a positive public image and are loved by their fans and continue to follow them all over social media. And, 47.3k tweets later, shows that their apology was adequate, and their followers have moved on from this bad tweet. And, with their other Twitter accounts, the Patriots PR team are one step ahead of their tweets.