When every little scheduled tweet helps (or not)

Posted by on Jan 18, 2013 in Blog, Social Media | 2 comments

When every little scheduled tweet helps (or not)

Scheduling Twitter or Facebook updates is a great way of using the networks without them taking over your life – but as Tesco found last night, there are dangers.

Signing off from their @TescoUK Twitter account, they tweeted: “It’s sleepy time so we’re off to hit the hay! See you at 8am for more #TescoTweets”. This came just days after it was revealed some of Tesco’s beef burgers contained horse meat.

The complaints about the tweet weren’t long in coming. @MarieMacklin tweeted “Joke was on customers misled.” And @PrinceStephenUK asked “Should Tesco be making horse jokes?”.

Tesco was quick to apologise, and not just a general apology on their feed, but to seemingly everyone who complained, such as to @Temper_Temper_ “ I’m terribly sorry. That tweet was scheduled before we knew of the current situation. We’d never intend to make light of it.”
Twitter Tesco Tweets apology

Scheduling can be very useful but the dangers of predicting what the audience wants to hear in advance have been made clear by Tesco. Even if you do schedule updates, it’s worth checking them regularly to see if they are still relevant. It’s important not to fall foal of your customers…

Mark Saxby is the co-owner of Status Social, one of the UK’s leading specialist social media marketing consultancies. For more about what Status Social does, click here.


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  1. Gary Parsons

    I’m sure you know more than most Mark that radio stations often review all their adverts and media in events in recent years such as the death if the queen mother or anything as significant.

    Marketing staff should also be very aware of news. Recently a large website posted on Facebook about a batman film and asked users a quirky question… Little I’d hy know the only a matter of hours before there had been a spree of killings at a preview in America.

    Standard practice for many but well done or reminding people that they aren’t immune and hopefully avoid PR disasters

    • Mark

      Good points, Gary. The danger is scheduling too far ahead in an unpredictable world. Tesco were unfortunate but it could have been a lot worse. It seems a very odd tweet to schedule, really.

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