Maybe it’s because I’m a Tottenham Hotspur fan, but today’s social media gaffe from the official @Arsenal Twitter account had me chuckling into my morning coffee with unbridled mirth.
It’s a brilliant example of completely failing to gauge the sentiment of your social media followers and, as such, should be a lesson to any brand out there when it comes to posting on Twitter or any other social platform.
Before I get into the specifics of what happened, a brief background for anyone not up on the latest in the Barclays Premiership…
Arsene Wenger won three league titles and four FA Cups in his first eight years as Arsenal manager. Which is a pretty awesome record. And then it all dried up. Arsenal have underachieved for the last twelve years, failing to win the league since 2004 despite consistently having one of the most talented playing squads, and finishing a perpetual fourth in the table.
The pressure on Wenger has been building for several years, coming to a head in the last few months as his side failed to capitalise on the poor form of all of the other top teams in the league, sliding to fourth place yet again after a depressing draw at home to lowly Crystal Palace on Saturday. Arsenal fans are not happy.
With that context in mind, the official Club Twitter profile tweeted this beauty this morning:
Not only does this magnificent post taunt the Club’s own fans with a shot that missed the target, but the genius behind it even got Mesut Ozil’s Twitter handle wrong!
What followed was nothing short of uproar from enraged fans. The tweet has now been deleted, so it’s just as well I took some screen grabs, huh? This is a small sample of the many, many responses:
A few saw the funny side:
But some really did not:
Quite what the Arsenal social media team had in mind I don’t know. But judging from some of the comments it’s not the first time they’ve managed to hack off their own fans.
The lesson here for everyone else is quite simple. If something goes wrong in your company or with your brand, whether that’s on or off social media, don’t ignore it or try and put a glossy sheen on it. People want honesty and authenticity on social media; it’s not the place for PR spin. It’s better to say nothing than to try and be positive when follower sentiment is negative.
In short, don’t Arsenal it all up!
If you’d like tips on handling negative social media comments effectively, help in putting a social media crisis management plan into place, or would like to undertake a full social media crisis simulation for your entire team to prepare yourselves, please do contact me for an informal chat.