SpaghettiO’s Takes It Too Far — Using Discretion With Your Brands Digital Presence

The Infamous Tweet

The ultimate lesson in social media engagement. On December 7, 2013, a very unwise person on the SpaghettiO’s social media team used some very poor judgement and sent out a tweet including a picture of some “spaghetti man” holding an American flag. The tweet read “Take a moment to remember #pearlharbor with us,”

The outrage was palpable. Twitter users lambasted SpaghettiO’s. They photoshopped the mascot into other inappropriate situations, and sent thousands of tweets to their brand in protest. USATODAY compared it to the time that ATT posted a similar inappropriate tweet regarding 9/11.

The lack of discretion in this situation is dumbfounding. With the advent of social media platforms, brands have acquired some mysterious idea that whatever is in the trending column on Twitter, they MUST comment on it. One would assume that they just want to be a part of the conversation. On paper, it’s smart. The problem with their logic is that they think they can simply inject themselves into the conversation whether it’s deemed relevant or not.

Brands need to be more selective when engaging with users. The golden rule of engaging is relevance. SpaghettiO’s has nothing to do at all with Pearl Harbor obviously. The social media team probably just thought “Hey #pearlharbor is trending.. Let’s just throw up a quick post!”

Relevance is key. Engaging with trending topics can be a homerun if done correctly. However, SpaghettiO’s clearly struck out with this one.