Content Marketing Blog

Twitter don’ts: Bing makes a marketing blunder

There are times when Twitter can be a great marketing tool for businesses to spread the word about new products, services and deals – and then there are times where a Twitter campaign can be a big mistake.

Microsoft learned this the hard way this week when the staffers responsible for its Bing Twitter account tweeted about the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan – and plugged the search engine at the same time.

A Twitter backlash followed Bing's original post, which read as follows: "How you can #SupportJapan – For every retweet, @bing will give $1 to Japan quake victims, up to $100K."

Underneath the post is a link to the Bing Twitter account, featuring the tagline "Try Bing. A new way to search, explore and decide".

While Bing claims the post was made with the best intentions, other Twitter users did not take kindly to the search engine's social media marketing tactics.

To put it lightly, a PR disaster ensued – Twitter users felt Bing's efforts looked cheap (after all, if the post was only retweeted a few hundred times, the multi-billion dollar firm would contribute only a few hundred dollars to the relief efforts) and ill-timed in the wake of a tragic international disaster.

In fact, Bing faced so much opposition to its offending tweet that it posted an apology several hours later, confirming it had in fact donated $100,000 to Japanese earthquake relief efforts.