If you’re one of the 268,099 people following the American Red Cross on Twitter, you’re probably accustomed to hearing about the organization’s blood drives and disaster relief efforts. You probably don’t expect to hear about craft beer and “getting slizzered.”
That’s exactly what followers of the @RedCross got when they saw this tweet appear in their feeds:
This tweet was soon deleted, but not before it was retweeted by thousands. A new hashtag, #gettngslizzerd, was born. Not long after this tweet was deleted, another one popped up:
So, who got their proverbial keys confiscated? That would be Gloria Huang (@riaglo), who is one of two people who manages the American Red Cross Twitter account. She intended to send the now famous “rogue tweet” out to her personal account using Hootsuite on her iPhone, but accidentally sent it to the Red Cross account instead.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the “Midas Touch” tweet has turned to gold. Dogfish Beer (@DogfishBeer) appreciated the follow-up response to the rogue tweet, and asked that their own followers make donations to the Red Cross. Many have done just that, which is evident to anyone following @DogfishBeer or the #gettngslizzerd hashtag.
“Well, the hashtag seems to have gone viral, so it’s a bit of an anomaly for us,” said Huang, noting that the hashtag was inspired by a lyric in the Far East Movement’s song ‘Like a G6’. “I use silly hashtags often on my personal account, just for fun. I think the humor factor of this mistake helped it go viral because we know the internet appreciates a good laugh.”
The rogue tweet also reminds us, much like the Kenneth Cole tweet fiasco, that there are individuals representing these big brands. Now, there is a big difference in Kenneth Cole intentionally making light of a situation in which people had died and someone posting their beer preferences on the wrong account. People want to know that there’s a personality behind the brand in their Twitter feed.
In this way, Huang and the rest of social media team at the American Red Cross showed how to handle a social media disaster. They acknowledged that it was an honest mistake and handled it with humor. In the end, the brand has reached far more people and received donations they otherwise wouldn’t have.
Huang noted that she was very thankful for the support of the craft beer community, and that this mistake has turned into a positive story. And don’t worry, she’s not going to lose her job with the American Red Cross. Wendy Harman, Gloria’s manager and social media director for the Red Cross, summed it up nicely: “We are an organization that deals with life-changing disasters and this wasn’t one of them.”
Not only will Gloria keep her job, but a kind co-worker gave her the disaster relief kit below so that she could ride out this “social media disaster.”