Chances are youave witnessed a social media fail sometime in the past year. It usually results from a sense of urgency, or a miscommunication that ignores common sense, all for the sake of gaining attention.
It’s true: Follow merely a bit of poorly-advised posting on social media, and you, too, can create your very own brand fail in a matter of minutes.
Many brands are over-concerned with posting frequency and velocity, and not concerned enough with tactics that ensure quality and proper context. A single spur-of-the-moment tweet can cause irreparable injury. And even after it’s deleted, the instances below show that content on social media never genuinely dies — so make sure you have a plan in place that establishes clear boundaries and best practices.
As proof, here are seven of the worst social media fails you might ever come across.
7 Social Media Fails to Avoid in 2017
1) Meet-And-Greet, but Don’t Touch
Humor is a wonderful thing, especially on social media. A funny meme, GIF image, or video can reap a wealth of positive interactions. Itas common practice for celebrities to produce goodwill online by sharing one-on-one experiences with fans — meet-and-greets, and astonish appearances, for example, all have the potential to go viral. Regrettably, the viral consequence doesnat always have the end-result you might wish for.
It doesnat get much more uncomfortable than Avril Lavigneas now infamous meet-and-greet photo session. Fans paid nearly $400 for a chance to meet their idol before finding out there were some serious restrictions on their experience: no touching allowed. That meant no hug, wrapping limbs around one another, or anything else that tends to induce celebrity meet-and-greet photos warm and cozy.
The pictures, as they say, are worth a thousand awkward words.
2) Rhode Island or Iceland?
Good aims fell flat for the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation in 2016, when it stimulated one tomb error in a$ 5 million promotional video — and used footage not of the great state itself, but instead, of Iceland.
The mistake ran viral and gained far more attention than an Iceland-free version of the promotion would have been able to, but it wasnat precisely the type of advertising we imagine the members of the bureau of tourism was hoping for.
Thanks to the social media skills of Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo, you can enjoy your very own private viewing of this social media fail.
a Gina Raimondo (@ GovRaimondo) March 29, 2016
3) Ten Penny off Your Next Playstation
In 2015, Amazon generated #PrimeDay as its own corporate version of a Cyber Monday. Unfortunately, at that point, many of the discounts and offerings didnat quite live up to customer expectations — and the hashtag went viral for all the incorrect reasons .
One kicker came when Amazon offered a whopping $0.10 discount on the Sony PlayStation 4 Console. It didnat take long for #PrimeDayFail to start trending on Twitter.
a lupe (@ cherryyyybomb) July 15, 2015
Any time a brand winds up with a trending hashtag that includes the word agatea in it, you know thereas trouble.
In 2014, Apple released the iPhone 6 with great fanfare, with one of the most aggressively highlighted features being that the phone wouldn’t bend under pressure in, say, your back pocket.
In a video that now has more than 69 million views, Unbox Therapy squashed Appleas claims by demonstrating how easy it was to bend the iPhone 6. Once the damage was done there was no going back. A war of words promptly took place between avid Apple fans and detractors, garnering even more attention on social media.
5) How to Turn a Fail into a Win
Robots arenat always smarter. In 2014, a Google bot mistakenly attributed an offensive motto to U.K.-based bakery, Greggs. Hilarity — to some, at least, ensued when Greggsa Digital Brand Manager, Neil Knowles, turned a potential brand catastrophe into a monumental win.
Thanks to the clever back-and-forth between Knowles and the Google team, and the massive advertising garnered by the exchange, Googleas original mistake wound up being one of the best things to ever happen to Greggs.
a Greggs (@ GreggsOfficial) August 19, 2014
6) Coca-Cola vs. Russia and Ukraine
If youare going to create a huge promotion that displays a giant map of Russia, itas generally a good notion to make sure that map is accurate. Or, better yet: When in doubt, don’t show a map.
Coca-Cola received massive backlash from Russian citizens when it posted a promotional branded image made to look like a map of Russia — which left out Crimea. In response, many consumers took to Twitter to post images of themselved pouring Coke into their lavatories, leaving a trending impression.
Then, in response to the backlash, Coca-Cola published an updated map that included Crimea — which was promptly bombarded by outcries from Ukrainian citizens, due to tensions resulting from Russiaas annexation of Crimea in 2014.
Lesson learned: Donat publish original content thatas inaccurate, and has the potential has been extremely( and globally) controversial.
Source: The Guardian
7) A Giraffe for Ghana
Sometimes, all it takes to avoid a social media fail is a simple Google search.
During the 2014 World Cup game between the USA and Ghana, Delta sent out a congratulatory tweet to the U.S. football team. The tweet included an image of the Statue of Liberty with a a2a representative of U.S. score, and a giraffe with a a1a that was meant to represent team Ghanaas score.
There was one tall problem: Ghana doesnat have giraffes. Of course, Twitter user jumped all over that one.
a theScore (@ theScore) June 17, 2014
Just remember: Itas always best to take extra time to conduct some easy research, and avoid social media gaffes — no pun aimed — like this one.
Wrapping Things Up
You might have noticed a pattern in some of the afaila instances. Twitter is not to be trifled with. Once something goes viral it lives on forever. The best way to avoid a social media brand fail is to establish a meticulous social media management approach. This allows you to control the types of content you post and the messaging your brand communicates with.
Regardless of how small your audience is or how innocent something might seem, thereas always a reason to quality-check before posting.
Read more: blog.hubspot.com