#RedskinsPride Campaign Looks Like A Failure On Twitter, But Draws Facebook Support

The NFL’s Washington Redskins, battling increased pressure to change a team name that many consider a racial slur, launched a social media campaign; and depending where you checked, it either looked like a disaster or a good way to rally support.

Last week, 50 U.S. senators, most notably majority leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada), signed a letter to the NFL urging that the team be forced to change its name.

Yesterday, the Redskins responded on Twitter and Facebook, asking fans to tell Reid and Congress to back off. The Redskins’ tweet has received the most attention and coverage.

It’s been widely cited as a P.R. disaster, a point that’s hard to argue considering the negative reaction to the tweet and the reappropriation of the hashtag. There are many examples. Here are two:

But the Redskin name got much more support on its Facebook post about the issue. The overwhelming majority of 1,200+ comments support keeping the name. Some samples:



Of course, social media is a crude tool for the gauging of public opinion, but if brands needed a reminder of how messages are received on the two main social networks, this is a great one. Facebook is much more of a closed system for communicating with fans, so it’s no surprise that a post on the team’s official page would draw supportive comments.

On Twitter, a brand is opening itself up to critics — not incidentally some of the smartest and most witty residents of the online world. In that environment, creating a hashtag campaign is a recipe for failure, like spraying gasoline on a blowtorch. And adding insult to injury from a P.R. standpoint, the Twitter reaction is the one most likely to be written about on news sites, which is clearly the case here:


Related Topics: Channel: Social Media Marketing | Features & Analysis | Social Media Marketing | Top News | Twitter


About The Author: is Third Door Media's Social Media Correspondent, reporting on the latest news for Marketing Land and Search Engine Land. He spent 24 years with the Los Angeles Times, serving as social media and reader engagement editor from 2010-2014. A graduate of UC Irvine and the University of Missouri journalism school, Beck started started his career at the Times as a sportswriter and copy editor. Follow Martin on Twitter (@MartinBeck), Facebook and/or Google+.

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