Here’s what not to do: Four great examples of social media fails

February 15, 2013


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With great power comes great responsibility. Somebody famous once said that. It possibly may have been Spider-Man. Regardless, the message is true. Having a certain amount of power means that you need to keep a close rein on how it’s used.

Social media has become that kind of power over the last few years. With almost a third of the world’s population connected to the internet, it’s crucial that brands maintain a strict level of responsibility when communicating. As a warning, here are four examples of when a company has failed utterly:

Tesco Twitter

Recently, the UK supermarket chain suffered a media frenzy when reports came in that its beef burgers contained traces of horse meat.

Tesco Twitter fail

Of course, this being negative publicity, damage control via social media would have been recommended. Instead, a premeditated Twitter message was released.

This led to the brand being condemned for showing poor taste. Tesco quickly apologised, saying that the tweet was scheduled before the story became public.

McDonalds Twitter

Speaking of burgers, McDonalds allowed people to have their tweets appear at the top of related search results. However, there was clearly no quality control mechanism in place as most people took to insulting the brand and talked about their own negative experiences with the fast food restaurant chain.

McDonalds Twitter fail

Thomas Cook Facebook

The UK travel company missed a trick a few years ago when a man named Thomas Cook commented on their Facebook page. In a light hearted fashion, he mentioned that he has suffered ridicule for years having the same name as the holiday firm and that a free weekend to Paris might alleviate the embarrassment suffered.

He was quickly and coldly rebuffed. This is where stepped in. Their company gained some valuable PR and Thomas Cook was left looking silly, appearing ignorant to how social media works.

Thomas Cook Facebook fail

Celeb Boutique Twitter

One of the main aspects of running a social media campaign is to keep on track with current news. This makes engagement much more relevant and interesting. Celeb Boutique clearly weren’t watching the news when the story of the Aurora massacre in the US broke.

Celeb Boutique Twitter fail

The engagement they were hoping for didn’t quite pan out and was, frankly, totally distasteful.

Remember, with great social power comes great social responsibility.

This post was written by Susie Francis a writer for HANDD, the File Transfer specialists.


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