The Red Cross and Social Media First Aid
February 17, 2011 by Traci McMurray
The blogosphere has blown up with articles referencing the Red Cross and their overnight Twitter mistake/sensation. But when and where did the Red Cross make the decisions that turned their "whoops!" into a win?
As soon as the issue was was realized by a member of the Red Cross social media team, they didn't just freak out and remove the tweet. Whoever took care of the issue did so with a calm and cool STRATEGY. Acknowledging the mistake was just the beginning -- the Red Cross posted a retraction that wasn't only apologetic, it was also funny!
By setting the standard of not taking the gaffe too seriously, twitter users and media alike were able to embrace the humanity of the mistake and identify with the Red Cross account. This little bit of humanity -- regular people working to promote a good cause as opposed to a corporate machine -- was key in leading Dog Fish Brewery to suggest donations to the Red Cross, and on goes the happily ever after ending of this tale.
It was the very first team reaction to strategize the response of the account that led to the unexpected success of the "rogue tweet," but it certainly doesn't come as a surprise that the organization who puts whole countries back together after crisis disasters was able to handle a teensy little 140 character goof.