If you engage in social media marketing the ultimate goal is always to take a post viral. It's a great way to draw attention to your company, your products and your services... except when it isn't!
Social media blunders happen. Whether it's uploading the wrong picture, accidentally offending someone, or misspelling copy, accidents happen. When they happen to a major corporation, on a scale that reaches millions of people, it can jeopardize their brand and it's time to engage that crisis PR firm, quick!
2017 saw some pretty major social media blunders on a large scale. From United Airlines, To Pepsi, major corporations showed us all that social media blunders happen, even to the big guys!
Here are 6 social media blunders that show even brands that should know better can make mistakes!
United Airlines Multiple Fails
Probably the biggest fail of the year happened when passengers shot and shared video of a man being forcibly removed from a plane by security after being randomly selected... and declining to forfeit his seat for airline maintenance workers.
The act itself was bad enough, but things got much worse when CEO Oscar Munoz issued an apology blaming the victim and praising employees for following procedure.
Proper or not, a situation like this requires a deft hand, warmth and understanding – which United epically failed at delivering.
Is It New Years Already?
Pretty Little Thing, a woman's clothing company were a bit off the mark when they began to celebrate 2018 before anyone else on the planet.
It was clearly a timing issue when over 1 million Facebook followers were wished a “Happy New Year Huns”... in November! While it's good to see that brands plan ahead when it comes to social postings, it's probably a good idea to check their schedule before sending out a message early.
Pepsi Doesn't Get It...
Pepsi's combination of Kendall Jenner and a protest against police brutality was an epic fail! Social media users called for an immediate boycott accusing the company of undermining the Black Lives Matter movement to sell its product.
While Pepsi quickly apologized and pulled the ad, the damage was already done.
Adidas' Poor Choice of Words
This fail was probably innocent, but a poor choice of words lands Adidas on the list. After the 2017 Boston Marathon, the company tweeted it's customers who participated in the event “Congrats, you survived the Boston Marathon!”
This inadvertently recalled the 2013 Marathon bombing. The company recovered by quickly issuing a real apology (make a note United!) and taking the tween down.
Department of Edumication...
Spelling errors happen and typically they're not a problem... unless they come from the Department of Education!
After tweeting a misspelling of W.E.B DuBois name, which was bad enough, the DoE then misspelled “apologies” in its follow-up apology-for-misspelling tweet. Really!
IHOP Should Stick To Making Pancakes!
Someone at IHOP made the mistake of retweeting a message that referred to Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign as “garbage.” The company to its credit quickly removed the post, but not before hundreds of twitter users took screenshots of the message, took it viral and vowed to boycott the company in response.
Although the company later claimed its account had been hacked, no one really believed it. One Twitter users response summed it up nicely when he tweeted - “Hackers compromised the @IHOP Twitter account in order to retweet one single tweet... seems legit.”
What can you take away from all of this? First, everyone makes mistakes no matter how big or how small the company. How can you prevent them? Double check EVERYTHING.
Think about your message, check for typos and inaccuracies before you post. Stay away from politics, unless you're a pundit, it's a sure fire way to offend at least half of your followers. Invest in better security. Even though IHOPs claim seems unlikely, if your account is compromised you lose all control. And finally, if you make a mistake, and we all do, own it take responsibility and apologize!