Hurricane Sandy: An Example of What Not to Tweet

October 3, 2013

Hurricane Sandy ripped through the East Coast and caused an immense amount of damage. Many lives were lost, many homes were decimated, and thousands of lives were forever changed. There were people without power for nearly a month, miles of people waiting in line for gas, and the hope of all has slowly dwindled. We here in Virginia were not left unscathed. Many were without power for at least a day, and on a cold night with babies or children, it can feel like forever.

Of course, many companies have come forward to help out. Banks are withholding fees for using alternate ATM’s and waiving late fees, other companies are waiving expected payment times to make up for the loss of time due to the hurricane. So many people are pulling together, including corporations, however, some are just blatantly using the tragedy to market their wares. For example, this is a copy of a Tweet from Gap:

“All impacted by #Sandy, stay safe! We’ll be doing lots of Gap.com shopping today. How about you?” (The tweet has since been deleted.)

Insensitive? Absolutely. This isn’t the event to tag your business to. Christmas? Ok, Windfalll? Sounds good. But a traumatic event? Not so much. This is the worst way to advertise, and hopefully, none of you have followed suit. There are more positive ways though to do your due diligence, and hopefully, that positive connection you make without expecting anything in return, will boomerang itself back to you later on. Here are some examples of how to extend your business’s hand, and leave a positive impression on your potential consumers:

For a direct sales associate in cosmetics: “We are saddened by the tragedy of #Sandy, and are offering free bags of samples full of lotions and sample size cosmetics to help you feel beautiful in the face of such heartbreak.”

For an H/VAC company: “We understand how much damage #Sandy created, and an unexpected expense is the last thing you need. Please contact us for a free estimate, and your first hour of service is free.

For a Real Estate agent-“If you were in the process of selling your home, and it has been damaged by the #hurricane, please contact me for a free inspection, and info on discounts for repair.”

How have you offered a helping hand with your company? Have you made a connection with your consumers facing tragedy?

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