Social Media Faux Pas

The world of social media has been in a frenzy about KitchenAid‘s (already notorious) offensive tweet about Obama’s grandmother last night during the Presidential debate.

Cynthia Soledad, the KitchenAid head was quick to respond and apologize for the tweet and ask anyone who would like to discuss what happened to DM or email her or KitchenAid privately. 

Since this announcement last night, there hasn’t been any activity on the account other than a tweet an hour ago requesting that all media inquirires contact the company directly.

PR Daily was quick to post an article dubbed, “5 crisis PR lessons from KitchenAid’s offensive tweet,” written by Michael Sebastian, that discussed ways to prevent social media disasters like this one.

The thing is, mistakes like this will continue to happen. It’s the nature of the fast-paced social media world.

We don’t always have time to edit everything that we tweet, just like we don’t have time to censor everything we say. With that said, there are some basic guidelines that should be followed to try and prevent something like this from happening, but again, no one is perfect.

I know this, because I made one of those what-seems-like-earth-shattering mistakes when I was an intern. Some interns are fortune enough to make their mistakes behind the scenes, but mine was front and center, just like many of the mistakes we’ve seen this year.

My faux pas was made when I tweeted that a company had, “Free delivery!” on a Friday night right before leaving work. Come to find out, the company didn’t even have delivery.

Needless to say, the company started getting an influx of calls about delivery and had NO idea why. They scrambled to delete the tweet and manage the upset customers who wanted their “free delivery!”

That following Monday at work was not a fun one, I’ll say that much.

This little disaster was about a year and a half ago, and it’s still engrained in my mind. The world didn’t end, the company didn’t go under and I didn’t get fired (thankfully).

Moral of the story is that no matter how many precautionary measures social media professionals take, mistakes are bound to happen. What’s important is how we react to them. 

In the case of the KitchenAid Debacle, I think that Soledad did the right thing by taking responsibility for what happened. Now it’s important that we all understand that mistakes do happen, and that it’s time to move on.

~ Miss Soucie


Lover of all things travel, food, fitness and cocktails. Currently the Community Director at Ampsy, supporter of the #yesphx community and always on the lookout for the next adventure.