By Elizabeth Twietmeyer
This above all:
To thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
– Hamlet, Shakespeare
Great words from Shakespeare on the ideas of authenticity. Along with Shakespeare, our book and class lecture gave us excellent information on how to be authentic on social media. As I went on to further research authenticity for the blog I ran into an article from Social Media Today that gave four tips for authenticity. Here they are:
1. Make It Personal
2. Avoid Scripts and Schedules
3. Never Use Tragedies
4. Be Creative
When I saw the third tip, “Never Use Tragedies” alarm sounds went off in my head at an example of this type of situation. Last September, AT&T tweeted a photo of their smartphone with a superimposed image of the Tribute of Light on the screen. (cover image) At first glance this might seem like a heart felt tweet remembering a terrible day in our nation’s history. However, viewers of this tweet did not appreciate it and felt it to be not authentic. It seemed as if AT&T had used a tragedy to try to make a sell for one of their phones. Just like the article from Social Media Today states, “Speaking of national tragedies, it is never a good idea to use them for your own benefit. This strategy rarely (if ever) fools customers, particularly those in the area affected by the tragedy.”
AT&T and the CEO quickly released an apology for the tweet. “Yesterday, we did a post on social media intended to honor those impacted by the events of 9/11,” he writes. “Unfortunately, the image used in the post fell woefully short of honoring the lives lost on that tragic day,” said CEO Randall Stephenson. This is a great tie in to our chapter 6 in that you should respond quickly to all bad comments. AT&T Apology
Overall this AT&T 9/11 tweet is an excellent learning tool for the company and for us as a class to remember times when our desires to be authentic (and possibly sell our product) should be put aside to simply remember a tragedy.
Image Courtesy of proactiontranshuman.wordpress.com