3 Reasons Why the Toronto Raptors’ Twitter Engagement Strategy Lost

Source: Twitter

The Toronto Raptors have committed a blatant PR foul on the social media court.

According to SBNation.com, the team’s official PR Twitter account has responded to a torrent of criticisms of the Raptors (who are now 4-15) from their fans.

The responses show that the Raptors’ PR crew might need some schooling when it comes to carrying on a conversation via social channels.

To wit, in response to a fan complaining about the Raptors’ Andrea Bargnani, the team tweeted, “Kind of excited we have worst player in NBA history. Will have to get that in the game notes.” (Wince.)

Another tweet from the PR team: “My bad. You're around the team and know more than I do.” (We know, pass the Maalox.)

Call it Exhibit A in how companies and brands should not engage in a Twitter conversation with their constituents, customers or prospects.

On Dec. 4 we ran an item on how PR executives should engage media reps via Twitter. However, the Raptors sloppy play in communicating with its fans merits a few pointers for PR pros on how to engage Jane Q. Public on Twitter.

  1. In responding via Twitter to inquiries, complaints or comments, don’t be too cute or too clever. That type of retort is likely to backfire. Such a response will trivialize the original message and alienate the person who sent it.

  2. Regardless of the tonality of the tweet (whether you think the subject matter is marginal or just plain silly) try to respond as if you’re having a conversation with a colleague. Be respectful. Dole out any humor with care (most jokes tend to land with a veritable thud). In a similar vein, it never quite hurts to be a little self-deprecating (without compromising yourself or your brand).

  3. Treat the dialogue with respect and, with apologies to President Obama, see if the exchange has the potential for a teachable moment about your products, services and/or corporate culture.

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  • Jim

    Let me point out your blatant PR errors.

    The graphic posted is not even the Twitter site in question. Sloppy research.

    Secondly, quoting SBNation totally undermines any credibility. It is a fan site. If PRNews is a professional site I would hope it would aspire to quote reputable sources. Especially if it is taking a shot at someone.

    Number three brings me to the Tweet prompting the Maalox comment. If you took the time to read the entire exchange it would have been clearer why that comment was made. Again, poor research.

    And lastly, I run the site in question. I know the PR do’s and don’ts. I’ve been doing this for 20+ years.

    The goal of the site is to not be politically correct and bore the fans. People are always free to unfollow. Some like it and some don’t.

    What I don’t like is an anonymously written article that is full of errors.

  • jesse

    And how have you been employed for 20 years in PR?

  • #tradeBargnani

    This article is rubbish. I am a very disgruntled Raptor fan. Most of my tweets are very negative (notice my name). With that said, I find RaptorsMR a refreshing response from the typical politically correct drivel most companies/franchises both in the sports and corporate world.

    You should try following for a few days before writing such a short-sighted and blatantly incorrect piece.

    And, like following anyone, if you don’t like the content don’t follow!

  • Eno Sarris

    Calling SBNation a fan site shows how out of touch you are with the current landscape of social media and the blogosphere. Perhaps you haven’t seen how much the company is worth and how many professional writers they’ve hired. Also, way to leave the most important fact of your response to last. That should have come in a disclaimer at the top.

  • An actual PR Profess

    There’s no way “Jim” has been insulting his target audience for more than twenty years unless it’s a really unfunny comedy act.

    I advise Toronto to change course more or less immediately.

  • Kris Kennedy

    This Twitter acct is ridiculous. I made a comment that the team is not tanking, they just suck and the reply to all the followers were: I will let the players know that” SMH