As far as real-time marketing goes, DiGiorno is usually an industry standout. Several months ago, Lonelybrand actually examined DiGiorno as an example of a brand that could teach other social marketers about best practices for real-time social media marketing. So it came as something of a surprise this week when DiGiorno created something of a social media disaster for itself.
So what did DiGiorno do exactly?
When the news broke that video had emerged of Ray Rice attacking his wife and the Baltimore Ravens finally released him, a hashtag called #WhyIStayed was created. The aim of the hashtag was for survivors of domestic abuse to share their stories and also to educate the public about the realities of domestic abuse. In response to this sensitive topic, DiGiorno tweeted this:
Yup. DiGiorno hopped onto a discussion about domestic abuse to talk about pizza. After a very swift, very angry response from Twitter users, DiGiorno deleted the tweet and apologized but to an extent the damage was already done.
So how did this normally savvy marketer make such a huge mistake? Well, according to DiGiorno, they posted the tweet without checking to see what the hashtag was about. Chances are, someone on their social team took a look at trending topics, so the trending hashtag, didn’t actually click the hashtag to see what the discussion was about, and posted something they thought was clever.
What’s the lesson here?
It’s certainly important to empower your social team to post things without a lengthy approval process to be a successful real-time marketer. However, you absolutely need to look before you leap. Hashtag marketing and real-time trending topics are very powerful tools for marketers to participate in ongoing conversations on social. But always listen before you do anything else. If you want to be part of a conversation on Twitter, Facebook, or anywhere, listen to the conversation first. Read tweets, FB posts, chats, etc. that use a hashtag, and then if you think it’s appropriate, tweet.
Basically, in the world of social media, look before you leap.