Some might say that using social media is an art form. At Today’s Business, we take pride in our social media techniques, so when we come across social media fails, they make us cringe a little bit extra. Most social media fails come from the everyday user, but when big brands mess up, the whole word takes notice. Here are some of the best (and by best, I mean worst) social media fails by big brands this year!
That time a BBC reporter tweeted the Queen had died.
Woops! While Queen Elizabeth was attending a doctor’s appointment, a journalist for BBC tweeted that the Queen had fallen ill and passed away. In reality, she was attending a scheduled check-up, with no other illnesses being reported. BBC immediately apologized for the tweet, and said the tweet was sent out during a “technical rehearsal for an obituary”. However, the journalist had called it a “silly prank.” Hmmmmm?!
Lesson Learned: Twitter prompting you with “What’s happening?” is merely a suggestion, and no place for dress rehearsals. Writing out tweets ahead of time is always best practice, and always double check before sending. Otherwise, the Queen gives you this look:
Image via Blind Gossip
When a professional athlete thinks no one will notice…
Photo Via Twitter
Well, Jared, you did. Earlier this year, Pablo Sandoval of the Boston Red Sox was caught liking pictures on Instagram DURING a game. Yes, he was in the bathroom at the time, but no excuses! Work is work, even if your job is as awesome as playing baseball. Athletes across all sports are continuing to get themselves in trouble on social media. Remember: always think twice before putting anything on social media, even if it’s just liking pictures. Read up on some more sports fails here.
Lesson Learned: Don’t use social media inappropriately while you’re working. Whether you’re on a break, using the bathroom, or just around the office, think about how your post reflects you as a professional.
When Blackberry tweeted from an iPhone.
Yes, really. I know. How could one be so silly? It seems like common sense, but even in this day and age, big brands are still giving us some great fails. While the tweet was deleted, screenshots live forever! (Lucky for us!)
Lesson Learned: Don’t use your competitor’s products, especially to promote your own! If you’re going to use social media, at least know how it works!
Never welcome questions you cannot answer. After the release of a documentary about the treatment of animals at Sea World, the company tried to gain back some of their image with the #AskSeaWorld campaign. Twitter users were welcome to ask Sea World any question, but the questions received were not the ones Sea World was hoping for. Instead of questions regarding the environment or animal facts, they received sarcastic questions about the treatment of the animals and facilities.
Lesson Learned: Think twice before starting a hashtag campaign. In the last couple of years, we’ve seen brands try to stay relevant using different hashtags without understanding the meaning behind them, or the potential in the campaign to backfire. Clearly, Sea World did not anticipate the amount of negative feedback it did receive. However, it seems like many people could have predicted that outcome.
While social media fails provide hilarious content for us as consumers, they can be detrimental to a brand’s campaign and image. As a company working on social media all the time, we understand the importance of checking and double checking. If you have to think twice about it, it’s probably not the best idea to post.