Look out Kardashians and Ashton, there’s a new Twitter sensation in town. Rupert Murdoch joined Twitter recently. The 80-year-old mogul who once poo-pooed the Internet as a place solely for predators and porn, has joined the ranks of celebrities, politicians and big brands in trying to use Twitter marketing to help re-invent his image. See, 2011 wasn’t so kind to Murdoch, and Twitter is a great way to have a friendly chat with tweeps to say “Hey, I’m just like you — just richer!”
The billionaire scooped up more than 40,000 followers in less than 48 hours and looked like he was taking to Twitter like a Jersey Shore star takes to spray tanning. Yet it wasn’t long until Murdoch got a taste for how quickly the Twitter tides can turn.
Yesterday Murdoch tweeted “Maybe Brits have too many holidays for a broke country!” in reference to England’s many winter holidays. As it usually rolls in TwitterLand, it only took a few minutes for Murdoch to get flooded with angry replies. Even his wife tweeted, “RUPERT!! delete tweet!!” Punsters, critics and tweeps filled with UK pride all lined up to smack Murdoch for his comment. Later, his wife defended him saying, “”EVERY1 @rupertmurdoch was only having a joke PROMSIE!!!” While Murdoch himself lamented “I’m getting killed for fooling around here and friends frightened what I may really say!”
Still, it wasn’t a total loss: The media mogul again apologized and quickly turned the tables by answering questions from followers and sharing his New Year’s resolutions. Good for you, Rupert! While we can’t commend all of Murdoch’s business practices, we have to give the old dude props for being himself on social media.
Twitter marketing specialists often see this kind of thing happen to business owners. We help clients smooth over these kinds of Twitstorms on a fairly regular basis, and can tell you this: The smart move isn’t to hop off of Twitter but to keep tweeting and keep communicating.