Someone at a large company today checked trending topics on Twitter with the hope of finding something they could use to help promote their product line. With a trending topic they found, coupled with a quip about their product, the person crafted a tweet.

Using the trending hashtag #WhyIStayed  with “you had pizza” as the response, someone at DiGiorno Pizza thought this could catch the attention of a large audience.

Boy, were they right!

For those who don’t know, the Ray Rice domestic abuse issue is dominating social media. #WhyIStayed started trending as a result. It was in response to how Janay Rice is being treated in the media and on social media sites. Victims of abuse came to Janay’s defense by trying to explain why victims stay, and using this hashtag.

As of 7PM today, ABC, Mashable, Time Magazine, and E! Online are just a few of the media outlets that have reported the error DiGiorno Pizza made. Offending domestic abuse victims and rousing the ire of people already upset over everything related to Ray Rice, it was a rough situation for DiGiorno Pizza today. They proved with this incident that the idea any press is good press isn’t always necessarily true.

To DiGiorno Pizza’s defense, they handled the apology well. For them, I hope the public flogging passes quickly since it seems to be an honest mistake. Here was DiGiorno Pizza’s response to their error:


What happened with DiGiorno Pizza isn’t that uncommon. The bigger the company this happens to, the more surprised I am. I would think big-budget companies with a dedicated in-house team would get this right. And yet, that’s not what always happens.

Anyone who has a social media team–whether it’s in house or contracted out–should have individuals running it with their pulse on social media. The person or team should stay ahead of what’s trending in this fast-moving industry, have the appropriate content for the company day to day, be responsive to communication with followers, and more.

And never should they use a hashtag in a tweet, thinking somehow it is germane without understanding the history behind it.

What happened today should bring a few things to the forefront for business owners:

1) To run your own campaign, you need to spend much more time to research social media itself as well at what is trending before posting or tweeting anything.

2) If you don’t run your campaign, you need to be careful about who IS running it.

3) When hiring in-house talent, being young and having a presence on social media doesn’t make someone a social media professional.

Who do you have running your company’s social media campaign?

Do you trust them to be abreast of what’s happening day to day or even hour to hour?

If you are not completely comfortable, you should be contacting us for assistance.