Tuesday, 9 August 2011

When Twitter backfires

Riots, riots, riots. What a dramatic couple of days, one where Social Media has been used for good and for bad. 

I'm typing this from my living room whilst watching Twitter and the itv live blog update on the goings on as the riots hit my home town,. 

Right this second Miss Selfridges has gone up in flames in Manchester City Centre and Manchester Arndale has been broken into.


images from @mtattersallitv

Explosions have been reported and a Didsbury resident is being held over using Twitter to organise riots.

But you know all this. You've seen it on the news.
What I'm interested in is how Twitter has been used by fashion retailers during the chaos. TOPSHOP came under fire because their tweets seemed insensitive to some followers. TOPSHOP's marketing division had undoubtedly scheduled their tweets in a few days prior, as most large organisations do. 

Their tweets read things like: '@TOPSHOP We're busy busy over here with exciting things for AW11! What's everybody else up to?'

Admittedly, this could seem sad to someone sat outside their burning shop, but can we expect retailers to alter their marketing strategies to suit the political mood of the moment? It would too seem sad to someone who had just been the victim of an unfortunate situation unrelated to the UK Riots.

A helicopter has just gone over my house....

Twitter is reactive, it is of the moment, but why do we care what retailers are tweeting when we're worried about loved ones, some might even say that if retailers jumped on the PR carosel and tweeted #riot themed posts that they would also be insensitive.

Harvey Nichols in Manchester also came under fire, tweeting: '@HN_Manchester Our tweets today have been pre-scheduled. We've had to close. Apologies if we seemed insensitive.'

Personally, I think this is the least of the problems when retailers are having to close during the toughest month because of stupid scumbags not having anything to do.

Trams have been stopped to and from Manchester city centre and this man has just been arrested for trying to damage the stationary vehicle.

images from @mazherabidi

Perhaps this is the end of scheduled postings?

What do you think?

ADDED AT 20:05

Diesel just tweeted me after I included them in a list of attacked stores in the City. They are using Twitter to asertain the damage to their chain. Clever/sad that they have to.

 images from @mtattersallitv

END.