While late night Facebook slip ups can happen to the best of us, it’s generally expected that the big guns have their social media strategies down pat. From Starbucks to US Airways, the past years made it pretty clear that no matter how high profile the company, social media fails are still a very real risk. And as far as we’re concerned, the bigger the company, the more catastrophic the fall out.
Poor Blackberry is something of an underdog these days. Not even Alicia Keys herself could save the former ‘boss brand’ from the wrath of Apple and Samsung. While their new smartphone is sleek, sexy and beautifully photographed, the fact that it tweeted the snapshot via Twitter for iPhone was a serious social media faux. The timestamp clearly shows that it was sent from an iPhone, and this didn’t escape the ridicule of followers across the globe. Needless to say, it was promptly deleted.
As many everyday social media users have learnt, the internet is ruthless when it comes to sharing content that should be kept private. Sainsbury’s learnt this the hard way when it accidentally hung up an internal poster in one of its shop windows. Without social media, the critical response would’ve been limited to local shoppers. Of course, social media does exist, which meant the poster encouraging staff to up-sell to shoppers quickly went viral. #oops
How some social media campaigns make it past the drawing board continues to remain a mystery to us. To celebrate South Africa’s National Women’s Day, Bic posted a promotional image encouraging women to “look like girls, act like ladies, think like men, and work like bosses.” If this doesn’t scream sexism, nothing does! While the company maintains it lifted the quite from a businesswoman blog, there was some serious short sight from whoever gave it the go ahead.
London’s transport system isn’t famous for being on time, which prompted one frustrated overground user to reach out via Twitter. In April, Twitter user @dan_down took to the platform and posted the following: “Sort it out @LDNOverground. If I’m late once more this month I lose 25 per cent of my salary. Are you lot reimbursing me?” Instead of apologising for delays, TFL posted a blunt reply, instructing dan_down to simply leave earlier. The backlash was immense, and even Twitter criticised TFL for its disrespectful “smart arse answers.”
Back in August Vanity Fair accused Tinder of being a driving force in the so called “dating apocalypse.” Rather than take the criticism on board, Tinder launched a fiery backlash campaign on Twitter, defending its platform and the people who use it. If anything, this illustrates the need for brands to spend time coming up with disaster management strategies, instead of simply responding without purpose. …to downright insane.
Coca-Cola’s Super Bowl campaign was all about optimism, with the brand calling on consumers to tag negative Tweets with the #MakeItHappy motto. To complement the campaign Coke created a ASCII code Twitter generator that transformed negative Tweets into positive cartoon pictures. Unfortunately, it failed to comprehend that this put it at the mercy of ruthless humourists, such as Gawker media company. The result was a bot that tweeted content from Mein Kampf, Hitler’s notorious biography. While Coca Cola didn’t actually do anything wrong, it failed to comprehend the danger of letting people attach its name to anything they please.
It’s not every day that a leading global airline goes public with a fetish for pornography. In fact, we’re pretty sure it hadn’t ever occurred until US Airways replied to a customer tweet with a link to a wildly graphic image. Strangely, the company responded to the incident by claiming that it had intended to “flag [the photo] as inappropriate,” as opposed to publicly tweet it. Somehow, its attempt to flag the content was “inadvertently included in a response to a customer.” A strange excuse that definitely didn’t stop the content from going viral. It’s crystal clear that when it comes to social media, fallouts are all too easy. For brands, blunders can represent everything from embarrassment and customer backlash to falling stock prices and a seriously botched reputation. That’s why it’s so important to have a savvy digital marketing team onside, who’ll actively monitor and mediate social media platforms. Want to know more about the benefits of creating diligent and considered social media strategies that align with the unique goals of your business? Reach out to us today to find out more about how we can keep your platforms clean, engaging and conversion oriented with our Social Media management service.