Merriam-Webster shows how to win social media

The dictionary’s Twitter managers take their jobs very seriously. Here’s how they speedily reacted to a notable editor’s comment online, and got people talking. 

Don’t mess with Merriam-Webster on social media.

If you do, the dictionary maker’s nuanced team will shut you down.

Slate senior editor, Gabriel Roth, learned that the hard way when he tweeted in response to a recent Merriam-Webster article.

Here’s how it unfolded.

First, Merriam-Webster tweeted the following:

Roth responded with a string of tweets:

That’s when Merriam-Webster dropped the hammer:

Some might say we need more of that type of honesty from brand and social media managers. RELATED: Tell better brand stories on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and your blog.

Roth fired back with a lengthy response to it .

Roth writes:

On the scale of Twitter eruptions, this was big but mild. And, hey, we learned something, right? This was a fun day. Some new followers (hi new followers!) plus thousands of strangers laughing at me. Lots of fun. No one cares how I feel! Good one. See, I can laugh at myself.

He concluded by asking—perhaps legitimately—what value there is in a brand snarking at “civilians.”

What do you think, PR Daily readers? Is it a sad day when Merriam-Webster bites back on Twitter, or is this an example of a venerated brand cleverly finding its voice on social media?

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