Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Thank Your Online Impostor, Or Not.

Have you seen this?

It's a Twitter account with the user name "BPGlobalPR," one that has exploded with activity in the past couple days.

The user's satirical tweets are clearly and attempt to display displeasure with BP after the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the company's lackluster response to slowing the leak down. And they are using the popularity of the feed to sell t-shirts to raise money for the relief effort.

Although lighthearted, brands take social media impostures very serious; just ask Michael Werch.

Twitter has rules against impostor pages which this page seems to violate. At the request of BP, it could be shut down.

Yet they haven't. So far, BP seems to have chosen to take it's lumps on Twitter. Personally, I think that could be a good thing. Shut them down (even with good reason) and they become a bully.

Hearing criticism like this is certainly a tough pill. But reality is that no brand, as bad as they may want to, can own the public thought or conversation.

They have two options.

Take the feedback (even in the form of slurs and jokes), see it as valuable and use it to their advantage when they can.

Or sometimes, don't use it at all. BP knows they're groups (large ones) of people who will always hate them and their business. They perceived them as money-obsessed, earth-destroying jerks and that won't change. Why obsess and pour through forever spent resources to win the impossible win?

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