Social media is a powerful medium that companies all over the world are trying to utilize to advance their brand names and influence their customer base, but with great power comes great responsibility. The incident that has happened with Home Depot’s Twitter account is an example of why companies should really think twice before they let just anyone have control of the old official Twitter account.
It is fairly obvious why the photo is so offensive, and like so many other incidents like this in the past, it was only up for just moments, but that was more than ample time for it to be screenshotted and catapulted around the world through the powers of the Internet. So, now we find out that Home Depot is very apologetic about this situation, and they have terminated their contract with an outside company that manages their Twitter.
Ever wonder why a multi-billion dollar company would have to hire an outside company to manage its Twitter? We did. Think about it. One or two people could easily be assigned with this as their primary area of responsibility. SEO and social media marketing are not just for enterprising bloggers anymore. There are actually college classes that teach these subjects and certificate programs. Why would you trust an outside company to manage your Twitter?
But these companies specialize in building social media campaigns, right? Well, if this is what they do as a business, they probably have hundreds of other Twitters and Facebooks they are responsible for as well. So, wouldn’t it be a whole lot better to have someone in house to manage yours that actually has a vested interest in your company. This “outside company” might even manage some of your competitors’ accounts. Who knows? Maybe Lowe’s slipped someone a few bills to make this happen to Home Depot’s Twitter account. Who knows? It’s hard to believe that someone could have posted that and honestly thought there wouldn’t be a backlash.
Furthermore, one has to question other things about the photograph. Even if an outside company decided to Tweet this, obviously they had this photo available to them, and we can see that it is a Home Depot affiliated event that these three individuals are attending. Now, we will point out that this could have been photoshopped to include the ape in the middle. Some people were asking why the two African Americans would pose for a photograph like this. Most likely they didn’t. Most likely someone took the perfectly innocent photo probably from a Home Depot event and decided it would be humorous to change it. So, don’t blame the two fellows in the photo. Blame the asshole that thought it would be funny to manipulate it, or in any case, the person that took it out of context and posted it for the world to see. And blame Home Depot for auctioning off its Twitter feed to the highest bidder instead of finding someone who cares.