Social Media Disasters
Human nature can be volatile at times. This is often made apparent by social media interactions, especially in the users’ responses to otherwise well-meaning campaigns. Susan Boyle made an unintentionally hilarious mistake when she tweeted an announcement for her album release party with the hashtag #susanalbumparty . But other social media disasters have not been so amusing.
MySMN warns organizations to always double check their posts for anomalies. But there are many ways for social media to go very wrong very quickly. This is especially true for major corporations or well-known brands.
Last year McDonalds started a Twitter campaign that was intended to bolster their wholesome image. They invited patrons and employees to post their fond recollections of time spent at McDonalds with the hashtag #McDStories. Almost immediately after, people started using the tag as a way to vent their frustrations about the health issues surrounding the food.
#McDStories I lost 50lbs in 6 months after I quit working and eating at McDonald’s
And by “pride” do you mean “eyeballs and ammonia”? Yeah people can taste it, all right #McDStories
The post was removed two hours after it was tweeted, but people still use the hashtag now.
This was not the only time a corporation has landed in hot water with a tweet. Anything controversial can be turned against the company. The Middle Eastern airline Quantas was slammed with racist remarks on Twitter after they introduced the hashtag #qantasluxury for a contest. An Australian supermarket chain called Coles drew the public’s criticism over their supply sources when they introduced the phrase “In my house it’s a crime not to buy…”
“in my house it’s a crime not to buy food from (local) markets while Coles exploits mental illness via pokies”.
It is also important to consider current events when planning a campaign. If a national tragedy occurs on the day you were planning to start a sales campaign, then your light hearted remarks may negatively reflect upon the company. Social media analysts should stay up-to-date with current events. Don’t be afraid to put off a promotion in the event of a crisis or you may end up mired in a social media disaster.
Last July 21 was the day of the tragic Batman shootings at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. The tag #Aurora was trending as millions expressed their sympathies for the victims. Unfortunately for one employee of Celeb Boutique, she had not read the news. So she assumed that the tag was about their product when she tweeted:
“#Aurora is trending, clearly about our Kim K inspired #Aurora dress 😉 Shop celeboutique.com/aurora-white-p…”
Not only did it appear as though the company was capitalizing on the violent deaths of 12 people, she even mentioned the Kardashians. Companies can issue apologies for their employees. But the damage from one post can last much longer than an instant message.
Social Media is a great way to expand your brand, but with expansion comes the possibility of a reputation faux pas. With social media power comes great responsibility, so should you need help harnessing the power, MySMN is happy to lend a hand.