Surfing Twitter Trends – Social Blunder Or Marketing Genius?

By February 27, 2015Social Media

surfer

What do a car company, a winery and a sock manufacturer have in common?

 

They all jumped on a weird twitter trend and made (I think) clumsy insertions into the conversation.

It started last Thursday; Twitter was a-buzz over a dress…more specifically #TheDress. Some people perceived the dress in question to be white and gold. Others, looking at the same image, perceived it to be black and blue. Teams formed on either side of the perception gap and people announced their alignment either with #teamwhiteandgold or #teamblueandblack.

Here’s an image of the amazing dress in case you managed to missed it:

thedress

On Twitter, some tweets expressed astonishment, others were funny; there were lots of great funny memes. And then there were tweets from brands desperately trying to insert themselves into the conversation. (This next part might be uncomfortable for some viewers.)

Here are just a few of the awkward corporate tweets I came across:

From a monitor calibration devices company:

Datacolor

From a car manufacturer:

NissanME

From a winery:

winery

From a sock manufacturer:

socks

Does this make anyone else uncomfortable?  As I read these corporate tweets, I was cringing inside.  I wanted to apologize for them and also tell them that they should be ashamed of themselves for ruining an otherwise good time….

I felt this was a great cautionary tale about the dangers of being “fake” on social media and I planned to warn nonprofits against making this kind of embarrassing blunder.  But I have to hesitate.  These brands did get in front of lots of Twitter users for free and I am now sharing their posts to my audience.

What do you think?  Is it worth it to manipulate your content to ride a Twitter trend?  Or does this kind of exposure hurt your brand and undermine your credibility?  Genuinely interested in your take.