As this article points out, “Twitter accounts are frequently run by “social media managers” — that is to say, qualified specialists in social media — and yet, nary a crisis goes by without a distasteful tweet or Facebook post in response.”

One example is a serious of tweets by the Conde Naste-owned food website Epicurious in 2013. Days after the Boston Marathon bombing, Epicurious used the event in a food recipe promotion to its more than 385,000 followers:

Nothing in the content of posts was inherently offensive.  During a snowstorm or other type of event, the tweets would have been considered effective.  Given standard processes and timelines for print publication, an astute editor or reviewer may have questioned the content and prevented the posts from being published.

But in the internet-paced world of social media with its rapid post, re-post, respond, repeat rhythm, there’s no time for human-powered review, edit, and revise cycles, so more of this type of social media post is likely.

And that’s just one example.  There are dozens of examples of social media posts that have done serious damage to brand image and reputation, and had real, measurable impact on company revenues.