Case Study: Chrysler and its F-Bomb Tweet

Chrysler 200 ad

Chrysler’s Super Bowl ad introduced the new tagline for Chrysler, “Imported From Detroit,” as part of a brand positioning that the company is building around “The Motor City” and American values and pride. You can view the video here or below:

Now, take a look at this tweet below posted on March 9 2011 from Chrysler’s official Twitter account @ChryslerAutos:

I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to fucking drive.

This was tweeted by a staff from NMS, Chrysler’s social media agency and this employee thought he or she was in a private Twitter account rather than Chrysler’s account. The employee was fired; so was the agency.

Getting into social media like Facebook and Twitter no doubt helps brand engage their fans and communicate with their customers; but, incidents caused by communication like this could be disastrous to big brands. How could you avoid this? Here are a few tips:

  • If your company has separate department for marketing and communications, get them to coordinate and cooperate with each other
  • Get dedicated resources to clear content before they get published in social media in a timely manner
  • Set up the process and make it technically impossible to publish posts without getting approval

No one can be absolutely certain no mistakes will be made; and once that happens, you will experience the dark side of social media. However, companies need to be bold enough to test and improve their social media strategy and operation process.