Bing Tweets for Japan

I know that this might be an old event but I think that it is worthy to talk about because many companies face the same issue that Bing did as to whether they were helping or self promoting.

In March of 2011 there was a very large earthquake that hit Japan. Twitter was rampant with tweets about people sending their thoughts and prayers to Japan as well as manycompanies willing to donate money to the relief effort. Bing, the Internet search engine, was one of them.Bing decided to go about donating money in a different way than everyone else. They were going to donate money based on how many re-tweets they got. They were going to donate $1 for every re-tweet they, up to $100,000. This did not go over to well with the Twitter community. People felt that Bing was self-promoting instead of genuinely wanting to raise money for the relief effort. Within a few hours of the first tweet, Bing sent out a new tweet saying that they apologized about how their tweet came across and that they were just going to send $100,000 to the relief effort for Japan.

Bing has been becoming more popular in the past couple of years. Bing is an Internet search engine that is becoming more popular for people to use. It is clear that Bing has been using social media to promote their search engine since they are targeting people that are using the Internet in news and innovative ways. Bing has a little over 8,000 tweets and counting. The issues that are at stake for Bing in this particular tweet is that they could potentially cut off users that are not loyal users but have used Bing before. If people get the feeling that Bing is trying to self-promote through this tweet or any other their other tweets, then people will not want to be associated with Bing at all. Bing is an up and coming search engine. A misstep like this can cause them to backtrack on all of the promotion that has got their name out there in a positive light.

If I was the public relations executive for Bing during the time of the Japan tweet, I would handle the situation in almost the same way. First off I would tweet the same message that Bing did after the mis-tweet was posted. I would want to let all of the Bing followers know that Bing was not trying to self-promote but that they really were trying to help out the relief effort. I would however delete the mis-tweet. This is because I wouldn’t want people to go back and be able to see what was said and think that Bing only wanted to donate money as a promotion. Most other companies delete mis-tweets as well as people so I wouldn’t want that tweet to cloud the integrity of Bing. Bing was honest with knowing that they were wrong in what they had said. People respect when companies admit to being wrong and by Bing letting people know they were sorry they saved their company’s livelihood. Bing was transparent with their customers and confessed to being wrong which a lot of companies don’t do in a timely matter.

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