DiGiornio Makes Serious Social Media Mistake with #WhyIStayed Hashtag

Most companies have some reach on social media. The amount of information available to professionals and entrepreneurs sharing the best way to market and sell a product through platforms like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are almost infinite. Most of these resources warn against mistakes that make the company seem insensitive or out of touch, but apparently DiGiornio’s social media coordinator wasn’t too savvy on the Do’s and Don’ts.

Over the weekend, the hashtag #WhyIStayed was trending worldwide as domestic abuse victims and survivors shared their stories in 140 characters or less. It was an inspiring weekend for men and women who have become or have been victims of abuse. It also came on the heels of Ray Rice being let go from the Baltimore Ravens after a controversial video of Rice punching his then-fiancé was released.

So when DiGiorno made this tweet…

… It’s no surprise that a decent number of people were extremely offended. Though the company released an apology shortly thereafter, the damage had already been done and hundreds of thousands of Twitter users had seen the tweet.

Many media outlets have taken to criticizing DiGiorno for the mistake, claiming that the company interrupted a serious discussion about domestic violence to sell pizza.

In a statement to The Huffington Post, a spokeswoman for DiGiorno’s parent company, Nestle, commented,

"This tweet was a mistake, quickly realized as such and deleted seconds later… Our community manager -- and the entire DiGiorno team -- is truly sorry. The tweet does not reflect our values and we’ve been personally responding to everyone who has engaged with us on social media. We apologize."

What social media marketers and coordinators can learn?

Research and trending information in the age of social media sharing and technology are absolutely vital to the success of any marketing or community management plans. When research isn’t done, embarrassing things like this happen.

Given that DiGiorno is a huge company with an equally huge consumer base, most were quick to forgive and it’s unlikely that the company will see a drop in sales as consequence. However, smaller startups and companies just entering the social media realm can’t afford such lazy mistakes.  Things like this can easily (and very quickly) ruin a company’s image and reputation, especially if they are attempting to grow a following.


Header image courtesy of Digiorno, tweet screenshot courtesy of Neetzan Zimmerman.




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