KitchenAid: Recipe for Social Media Disaster

KitchenAid is the latest, but likely not the last, in the string of companies learning the downside of social media when a wrong tweet is sent.

During the first presidential debate, the appliance seller sent this tweet from their official account:

“Obamas gma even knew it was going 2 b bad! ‘She died 3 days b4 he became president.”

President Obama’s mention of his late grandmother, Madelyn Payne Dunham, came during the debate when discussing Social Security and Medicare.  Dunham passed away the same week as the 2008 election.

The tweet, which invoked the language of Twitter in shortening words to keep the message under 140 characters, was said to have been sent by an employee who meant to send it from his or her personal account.

The tweet was soon deleted, but not after a backlash of negative tweets.

KitchenAid soon followed with an apologetic tweet:

“Deepest apologies for an irresponsible tweet that is in no way a representation of the brand’s opinion. #nbcpolitics”

The company continued to use Twitter as the voice of their apology, as Cynthia Soledad, head of KitchenAid Brand took over the account.

“I would like to personally apologize to President @BarackObama, his family and everyone on Twitter for the offensive tweet sent earlier.”

“It was carelessly sent in error by a member of our Twitter team who, needless to say, won’t be tweeting for us anymore.”

“That said, I take full responsibility for my team. Thank you for hearing me out.”

Soledad then sent emails to several media outlets, such as Mashable and Adweek saying that she was available for any comment or interview about the issue.

With Soledad as its face, KitchenAid immediately launched their campaign as an open book. They did not blame the person at fault in a way that other companies sometimes have and did not rely on only a single apology tweet to correct the problem. Instead they were proactive in their approach to fixing the problem.

Do you think this is the best approach they could have taken? Or are they creating their own bad buzz by talking about it so much? How do you think KitchenAid is handling this social media snafu?

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