That next tweet missed two key words: We apologize.
Look, I am not going to completely throw KC under the bus here. We are constantly telling companies to ‘be human’ with social media. It could be argued that whatever person behind KC’s account was trying to do that, and just made an extremely bad choice in what they tweeted.
But there’s a key lesson here for all companies: You don’t attempt to leverage an online conversation you aren’t participating in. Especially not one that so many people have such a deep and emotional investment in and when people are dying. The backlash has already started, just follow the #KennethCole hashtag.
And now we have a fake KennethColePR account created that’s making them look even worse.
This should be a huge warning for companies everywhere: Just because many social media tools are ‘free’ to use doesn’t mean you shouldn’t invest in learning how to use them properly.
UPDATE: Look at the 1st page of Google search results for “Kenneth Cole”. It’s dominated by news items about this tweet and actual tweets from customers slamming the company for being so insensitive. The majority of the content on the 1st page is negative, and it’s all been created within the past 6 hours.
SECOND UPDATE: @KennethCole has now deleted the tweet in the screenshot, and has apologized via Facebook.