Auto-Tweeting: A Cautionary Tale

Auto-tweeting has been gaining popularity for busy marketers who post pre-written tweets about events they aren’t able to attend. But what if those pre-written Tweets don’t match up with what actually happens at the event? Twitter can go from a marketing outlet to a marketing disaster faster than you can say “retweet.”

As a flight instructor and pure aviation geek, I keep track of the aviation world via Twitter. A couple of weeks ago, one of the larger airshows in the country – Sun ‘n Fun – took  place in Lakeland, Florida. It’s generally a great place to have an aviation gathering – the weather is usually sunny and warm. Except this year, which caused major problems for auto-tweeters.

On March 31, a severe thunderstorm and tornado rolled through the airport grounds while thousands of people attended the show. The storm made toys out of many aircraft on the field as well as display booths and tents. Luckily, only minor injuries were reported.

The Lesson
Twitter proved to be an excellent way to stay up-to-date on the weather and resulting damage. But a few companies at the show made an example out of why auto-tweeting can be so dangerous.

After the storm blew through and the airshow grounds closed, guess what? The auto-tweets kept flowing.

All events were cancelled, so this tweet was pointless and out-of-touch. The Twitterverse nicely helped King Schools realize their mistake.

The Takeaway
Twitter wasn’t meant to be automated. The platform is built on the idea of instant thoughts, instant reports.

Scheduling social media interactions can work, but it’s important to walk the line carefully and be ready to adjust strategies. After all, no one cares who’s speaking at 3:30 p.m. when they are soaking wet and assessing damage.

How does your healthcare organization utilize Twitter? Is it authentic, in-the-moment or do scheduled tweets help you manage your workload?

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This entry was posted in Best Practices, Industry Trends, Social Media by Casey Hansen. Bookmark the permalink.
Casey Hansen

About Casey Hansen

Casey possesses extensive social media experience and expertly monitors trends in healthcare social media usage. He uses his industry insight and creative ideas to help Geonetric clients create social media strategies that increase brand awareness and improve loyalty. In addition, Casey also works with clients to develop customized search engine optimization services and search engine marketing campaigns. He reviews analytics and helps clients understand the impact social media, SEO, and SEM have on their overall online marketing efforts.

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