It seems that many people and companies suffer from Twitter remorse –when they hastily post something on a social media site that they instantly regret. Just last month, that company was Twitter themselves.
Twitter shares fell drastically after their disappointing first quarter earnings report was shared on Twitter before the end of the trading day. The company had planned on releasing the report after markets were closed, but instead, they suffered great losses after a financial intelligence firm, Selerity, shared the report.
What actually happened was only a very small mistake. NASDAQ, who operates Twitter’s IR website, admitted they had accidently put the results up for a very short time – less than one minute. This was just enough time for Selerity to detect the new earnings and share them with everyone.
And this is not the first time this has happened to a publically traded company. JPMorgan had a similar issue when their results appeared early last October. In addition, many companies were affected in a slew of leaks four years ago, such as Microsoft and Walt Disney.
This is a great warning for companies about how careful you have to be when using social media. We have already talked about how great social media marketing can be and how quickly it can help expand your customer base, but it can just as quickly hurt your company as well. All it takes is one early leak, false statement, or poorly worded joke, and your company can be all over the Internet for the wrong reasons. And as this Twitter news shows us, it is not so easy to just delete something before people see it. The earnings were only put up for around 45 seconds, and in that time, Selerity was able to find the information and disseminate it to the public. Just because you delete a tweet or a blog post quickly after it goes live does not mean people won’t see it.
Now this does not mean your company should avoid social media completely. The benefit of using social media greatly outweighs the possibility of a small slipup. What is does mean is that you should not take social media lightly. Everything you post online is important, and while one post probably won’t gain you a ton of customers, one post can definitely lose you a lot of customers. Twitter’s story is just another reminder that no one is immune from this type of mistake. The best way to handle it is to make sure you have smart and responsible people managing your social media, and make sure they realise how important every post truly is.
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