Social media is becoming a huge part of company strategy and marketing, but it’s still a fairly novel invention, which means there are social media mistakes abound. So, just for fun, let’s take a look at some of the biggest social media mistakes companies have made.
Using current events in your social media posts can be a great and clever way to promote your business or get people talking. But, as Kenneth Cole learned last year, good taste and common sense must come into play as well. During great unrest (and much violence) in Egypt, Cole decided to promote his clothing line with the following tweet.
“Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online.”
His taste level with clothing may be spot on, but when it comes to marketing, it’s more than a shade off.
Hashtags (#) have become an important element of Twitter as they let people subscribe to a topic they’re interested in, such as iPhone, and get related tweets. HabitatUK realized that some topics are extremely popular, like iPhone. So, they decided to hashtag their posts with #iPhone and other popular tags and then proceeded to tweet about completely unrelated topics. This does nothing but alienate that subscribed audience and give your company a bad reputation.
All we can say about this particular gaff is – WHAT?!? Burger King decided to drum up some business by launching a Facebook Contest. This is typically a great idea and can create some buzz, bring in new customers and boost your social media presence. But when your contest rewards people for “de-friending” their Facebook friends, you have to wonder what they were thinking. BUT it gets worse!!! When you defriend someone on Facebook, it’s sort of a secret and that person never knows unless they notice it or check their friend list. Burger King notified people that they were defriended so someone could win a free burger, creating hurt feelings and anger everywhere and prompting Facebook to shut them down.
Celebrities often commit social media sins; complaining about having to perform in a certain city, personally attacking their romantic partners, and letting intimate videos and pictures go viral. We could bring up a bunch of names but let’s focus on Charlie Sheen since he’s such an easy target. Apparently, Sheen forgot that Twitter isn’t private and sent a tweet to Justin Bieber that included his personal phone number. The result – 5 million people got Sheen’s private phone number (now disconnected). #Winning!
The lesson to take away from all of these social media blunders is that you’re dealing with a VERY public medium and every movement must be carefully considered, especially when a company name, brand or image is at stake.
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