Case study: When to stop selling on social media

“Do you have insurance? ‘Cause if you do, you can always use a little more. Am I right or am I right or am I right?”

Don’t be this guy. The guy who treats every conversation as a chance to sell something.

Our MCOM 341 book Content Rules advises “share or solve, don’t shill.” Our MCOM 333 book, Likeable Social Media, expands on this: “Social media should not be used as a means to selling your product, brand, or company, it should just simply make it easier and more appealing for them to buy.”

Here’s a corollary: When a major, life-threatening storm is hitting the most populous area of the country, take a break from selling to express a little empathy:


What not to do has is reporting on several offensive sales Tweets published during Hurricane Sandy from both American Apparel and the Gap. Here’s a sampling of the controversy:

Social media case study: Selling on Twitter during Hurricane Sandy

Storified by · Wed, Oct 31 2012 06:05:53

American Apparel is pathetic.
How not to do Twitter “@Gap: All impacted by #Sandy, stay safe! We’ll be doing lots of shopping today. How about you?”Chris Mann
Most crass #Sandy tweet: @Gap All impacted by #Sandy, stay safe! We’ll be doing lots of shopping today. How about you?ckoukkos
Gap trips up with Sandy tweet wonder how planned to deliver orders..By Boat? By Ferry?Angel Sadel
.@AmericanApparel Angers Twittersphere With ‘Hurricane #Sandy Sale’ Cashmore
American Apparel angers customers with Hurricane #Sandy sale Post
Gap Criticized For Insensitive Tweet During Hurricane Sandy – Cashmore

How should an organization respond to its own offensive Tweet?

See what Kitchen Aid did.

Other Sandy links