Brands steer clear of Zimmerman-related tweets

At least so far, no big brand has attempted to leverage the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial to promote itself. Perhaps it’s an evolution.

Social media, particularly Twitter, reacted with great intensity to Saturday night’s news that George Zimmerman, the Sanford, Fla., man on trial in the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, had been found not guilty of second-degree murder.

Zimmerman’s name and hashtags associated with the trial, such as #JusticeforTrayvon, were trending topics most of Sunday. Reactions ran the gamut from celebration to righteous anger. Two NFL players, the New York Jets’ Victor Cruz and the Atlanta Falcons’ Roddy White, had to apologize for tweets asserting that Zimmerman and the jury would or should be killed.

When emotions run high and Twitter becomes a platform for debate about a tragic event or a high-profile criminal case, it’s not unusual for people to let their anger get the better of them. Also fairly common: Brand accounts stepping in, using a hashtag about a serious debate to promote a product or service, and looking totally clueless in the process.

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