Vodafone gained Twitter followers after bad tweet

Companies that manage an issue or crisis well may often come out stronger on the other side. As a follow up to my post yesterday about Vodafone and the obscene tweet, I thought I would check in on the number of followers to Vodafone’s Twitter account. In my view, the company handled the indicident well and I almost expected that they would gain a number of followers from the attention. As you can see from the graph below, that is exactly what happened. We can see a sharp increase in number of followers for VodafoneUK since the unfortunate tweet was published, almost twice the amount than on a normal day (+377 compared to +215 on average).

vodafone uk

Graph from twittercounter.com.

Tags: , , , . Ping.

One tweet causes crisis for Vodafone

When social media enters the business world, a larger number of employees get to speak on behalf of the company than what was standard practice before. Often this is a good thing, but of course there can always be one or two bad apples that will take advantage of this new found power and try to harm the organization. That was probably what happened to Vodafone today when someone internally tweeted an obscene tweet from Vodafone’s corporate account. And since Twitter is Twitter, also bad news spread extremely fast. That’s why VodafoneUK currently is involved in some serious online crisis management, see their Twitter stream below.


The story is currently among the top tweeted stories on Tweetmeme.com, but Vodafone is acting switfly to limit the damages before there are any major impact on its brand. They seem to be directly addressing a large number of people that are commenting on the issue or retweeting the obscene tweet. And I think Vodafone will manage to go quite unharmed through this incident. Fresh Networks sums it up nicely:

1.They responded quickly and said what was happening. In social media, people can spread messages quickly. Vodafone also responded quickly and said exactly what happened and was happening. It wasn’t a hack but an internal employee and that person was being dealt with.

2.They responded in the same place that people are talking about them. Vodafone responded to its Twitter followers on Twitter, using the VodafoneUK account. The key to crisis management in social media is to respond where people complain. Otherwise you risk alienating them and losing your role in the story.

Update: According to a statement from Vodafone, the employee has now been suspended. From the Telegraph: “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.”

Tags: , , , , . Ping.