We've discussed this before, there are certain times that Brands Should Not Tweet. A good rule of thumb is, if a tragic event or natural disaster is not directly impacting or involving the brand (such as their head office, their factory, their founding city), it's probably best to keep mum. While nobody really disagrees with the 'thoughts and prayers' sentiment, a brand of snack chips praying doesn't look like empathy as much as "look at me". Social media managers have made mistakes like that Aurora tweet, more recently AT&T had to delete a 9/11 tweet after being bombarded by upset replies for an hour.
We've spoken about this on the ad brief too. There's a fine line between being topical, and being "me too" in the midst of a tragedy.
Sure to get a lot of attention is this tweet from Glock today, and not just for the spelling error. Glock's product is probably involved, seeing as it's the gun most law enforcement are carrying.
Our thoughts are with those involved in and effected by the events at the Washington Navy Yard.
— GLOCK Inc. (@GLOCKInc) September 16, 2013