Vodafone shows how to handle a crisis on Twitter

Not a good end to the week for Vodafone (they of the variable customer service) with the following message sent out on their official @VodafoneUK account:

VodafoneUK is fed up of dirty homo’s and is going after beaver

In response though Vodafone have not tried to dodge around the issue and is responding to numerous people, saying:

We’re very sorry. A severe breach of rules by staff in our building, dealing with that internally.

Not a good position to be in, but credit for such a direct and open response.

Although sending numerous @ replies makes the Vodafone page look rather odd – same apology, repeated time after time, the reality is that @ replies are a really good way of ensuring that people see your response to the message they wrote about you. A general tweet disappears down people’s list of tweets very quickly and is unlikely to be seen by many of those who have mentioned you. Individual replies work best – and whoever is getting sore fingers typing away to send all the @ replies has my sympathy.

Hat-tip: Alfie

UPDATE: Vodafone’s fuller response is: “This afternoon an employee posted an obscene message from the official Vodafone UK Twitter profile. The employee has been suspended immediately and we have started an internal investigation. This was not a hack and we apologise for any offence the tweet may have caused.”

7 responses to “Vodafone shows how to handle a crisis on Twitter”

  1. Hi Mark, I agree with you about the honest reply and admission. It would have been so easy to try and create a dodgy cover up. They held their hand up and all credit to them. But, haven’t they over amplified the situation with an @mention to all their followers? A general apology tweet to all at regular intervals may have been better. If you check Google Realtime, it is now flooded with this stuff. Anyway, it is a lesson to all digital marketing/social media types – If you want to go viral, this is the way to do it. Tommy.

    • The problem with regularly tweets an apology is that it is a much blunter instrument as it goes time and again for all your followers, whilst @ replies are only seen by others if they follow both. I think that makes them better than blanket messages.

  2. Mark, surely many @VodafoneUK followers would have seen many @mentions as the multiple connections would be significantly high. It would be an interesting exercise to see the connectivity of their 8,000 to 9,000 followers. Seeing @mentions to others with the same message, in my opinion, would be very spammy. If they had undertaken a DM exercise that would be different. So their approach, is worse than generic apologies. Compared to a blunt instrument it has probably been like a rather sizeable juggernaut….hasn’t it?

  3. Yes they’ve apologised for the obsenity but have they shown one ounce of contrition over the appalling use of grammar? “Homo’s”? What are they, a greengrocer? Frankly I expected better.

  4. Round of applause for the poor sod who obviously posted in error for helping them gain such coverage for their not-so-publically-advertised online services. I mean, I didn’t even know they used Twitter before today so maybe contacting them on there about grammar and my account will mean a decent upgrade compared to the ones offered in their stores!

    Brightened up my Friday with such an amusing #fail AND proved the integrity and honesty of such a huge and global faceless company. At least now we know they can have a laugh with each other even with the wrong people looking.

    In fact I wonder what an evening in the local with them would be like? =)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments and data you submit with them will be handled in line with the privacy and moderation policies.