What the…? We’ve all read a tweet or Facebook post that was so ill-timed it made us do a double take. Don’t be that person. Don’t be that company. This is a reminder to all social media and marketing teams: go check your scheduled posts immediately.
People are hurting, are stressed out, and are actively seeking ways to help others through this rough and uncertain time, with the COVID-19 global pandemic front and center in our minds. We want helpful, relevant information about current events or uplifting content to alleviate our anxiety, not ill-timed snark, tone deafness, or vapidity.
A way-too-cheerful ad or call to action in the wake of a tragedy or during a global health crisis is at best insensitive, and can be terribly offensive. Search for social media fails or tone deaf tweets–there is no shortage of examples to make you cringe.
One famously horrible tweet from Live Nation asked concert goers to post pictures from a Radiohead concert they attended in Toronto that night. The stage had collapsed before the show, killing at least one and injuring many others.
You can imagine the pain that tweet caused, not to mention the rightful ire of the Twitterverse. Obviously Live Nation had scheduled the tweet to go out when the show was in progress. Most likely the person who scheduled it had no clue about the accident. Or if they did, they forgot they’d scheduled the tweet.
Earlier this month when SXSW got cancelled to help slow down the spread of the coronavirus, it was a tough blow. So many people, restaurants, bars, and other businesses rely on SXSW to make ends meet. The musicians, artists, filmmakers, and inventors also count on SXSW to get discovered or attract backing, in the form of an agent, a record label, or an angel investor.
Therefore, when several sponsored posts reminding people to RSVP for this or that SXSW event continued popping up, it ruffled a few feathers. It felt like twisting the knife in our backs. The posts were intentionally cruel or irrelevant now that there was no SXSW, It was an “oops” on their part for not calling off the scheduled ads they’d run.
You don’t want your company to publish a message in such poor taste, albeit accidentally. This is one of the risks we take when we automate our social media posts. Creating content in batches and scheduling it to go out makes sense, time-wise. Automation tools abound in the social media world.
Taking advantage of these tools under normal circumstances can help streamline the workload. Efficiency is important, but so is treating your audience like the living, breathing, feeling humans they are.