I have been sad to see the exploitation of September 11th, a day of remembrance, for social marketing–and so has the rest of the Likeable Media team, especially considering we’re New York-based.
Many digital and social marketers have been tracking these gaffes, and although AT&T’s may be getting the most coverage, there have, unfortunately, been several other brands that have shared distasteful content today.
— Lauren Indvik (@laureni) September 11, 2013
We apologize to anyone who felt our post was in poor taste. The image was solely meant to pay respect to those affected by the 9/11 tragedy.
— AT&T (@ATT) September 11, 2013
Scott Stratten, president of Un-Marketing complied images of some of the worst, which he shared via Facebook, but the example that, to me, is the absolute worst comes from Esquire.com.
Oh Esquire. pic.twitter.com/F7M1aHgWWA
— (abad) santos’s little helper (@alex_abads) September 11, 2013
Let’s be honest: The real-time requirements of social marketing may lead to an increase in errors as brands attempt to become part of a growing news story or trend, and responses to community outrage about these possible errors should be respectful of their opinions and reactions.
Relax, everybody. There was a stupid technical glitch on our "Falling Man" story and it was fixed asap. We're sorry for the confusion.
— Esquire (@esquire) September 11, 2013
Let these examples serve as an important reminder: In marketing, as in life, respect matters. Being timely and relevant in your social marketing is important, but so is having tact.
Please remember this, and help your teams, clients, colleagues, and fellow industry professionals remember it too.