A lesson from Vodafone: How one tweet can get magnified almost 100x

A cautionary tale comes from mobile phone operator Vodafone, who on Friday broadcast the following message out to its (at the time) 8663 Twitter followers:

Needless to say, despite being quickly deleted, it was captured for posterity and the damage is done.   Initial speculation was that the feed had been hacked, but it turns out it was a member of staff, who for whatever reason decided to mess around with the corporate feed.  Think we can safely assume that guy (assuming it’s a he) is so getting fired…

Vodafone had 8600+ followers on Friday, but how many people did Vodafone really reach on Friday?  The answer according to Twitter analyzer is 797,942.    And for good measure, the following day’s tweets (many still containing profuse apologies) reached 442,917.    That’s of course excluding all the media coverage so far.

You’ve got to scratch your head a bit about how this even happened.

Was the official Vodafone feed just running on someone’s PC using something like Tweetdeck meaning someone else could just stop by and post away?   Did they have official social media policies about who could tweet and how it could be used?   You’d hope so, but the way that one tweet quickly got magnified and passed around definitely shows the need for those policies to be in place.

Twitpic photo from Mr Squishington

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