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Social Media Mishaps of 2012

No one’s perfect, but some people really did manage to put their foot in it last year when it comes to social media. Most of us look upon all publicity as good publicity, but if you get it wrong in the world of social media, then it can be a pretty unforgiving place. In this article we explore, well let’s be honest, we have a good laugh at the expense of a few companies who definitely took the wrong route at some point during the last year with their social media campaigns. Who better to kick things off than the mighty McDonalds?

McDonalds may have taken steps to improve their image over the last few years but they certainly got ahead of themselves when they started using the hash tag ‘McDStories’ to promote their own content of their suppliers discussing McDonalds ingredients. As you might imagine, consumers hijacked the campaign and used the opportunity to lambast the company for its poor quality of food and service. A quick Google search today shows that the campaign might well run into 2013!

Urban Outfitters were quick to take advantage of Hurricane Sandy, but in doing so found themselves a few new enemies. At a time when people were drawing together, Urban Outfitters took their opportunity to use the disaster as a marketing opportunity. The tweet which really took the biscuit included the hash tag ‘Allsoggy’, and suggested that although ‘This storm blows,’ mentioned that, ‘Free shipping doesn’t!’ No one likes to see large corporations taking advantage of difficult times, and Urban Outfitters definitely committed a social media faux pas here.

Following on from Urban Outfitters, we have Hub Spot, who ran a story congratulating companies for making the most of Hurricane Sandy. Again, there was a fairly major backlash, ands Hub Spot actually ended up taking down the blog and apologising for the ill advised piece. A large donation to the Red Cross helped to make up for a disastrous marketing move of their own.

Kitchen Aid really cranked things up when they decided to get involved in one of the presidential debates. A tweet that insulted his dead grandmother disappeared almost as quickly as it had appeared, but by that time it was too late. An apology was offered, but of course by that point the damage had already been done. The answer – when discussing politics, it’s always politic to sit on the fence!

Of course, there will have been hundreds more of these social accidents. The moral of the story of course, is be careful what you tweet, post or otherwise send out into the public domain. The general public are so quick to jump on anything that can be viewed as being misleading, offensive, or even just unpleasant. You have been warned!

Often the best defense is to let a local social media expert take care of your campaigns. Here in Cleveland we know what we can and can’t say, and what will start something if you say it the wrong way. Having a Cleveland SEO expert involved in your social media campaigns is going to make life easier for you –seek a bit of guidance, and just make sure you don’t set yourself up for a fall anytime in 2013.

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