Organizations Beware: Social Media Blunders of Epic Proportions

By Katie Cray

You can’t run. You can’t hide. But you can deal with it and move on from critical social media blunders. Earlier Wakeman Agency blogs have discussed ways to handle a social media crisis. Be open, be honest and be respectful. But never be defensive. Keeping those tips in mind, take a look at a few social media bloopers that have gained major attention:avoid social media blunders

social media marketingTwitter — In February of this year, a Red Cross employee took to Hootsuite and accidentally tweeted the following: “Ryan found two more 4 bottle packs of Dogfish Head’s Midas Touch Beer…when we drink we do it right #GettingSlizzerd.” Unfortunately, she was signed in to Twitter under the Red Cross handle, not her personal account. Oops.

Red Cross acted quickly by deleting the Tweet, but acknowledged that it had been posted and assured visitors that the employees were still sober. The beer company joined in the buzz and asked customers to donate to the Red Cross by using the hashtag “#GettingSlizzerd.”

Facebook — In consideration of Target’s successful Facebook marketing campaign, Wal-Mart tried to do the same thing. Wal-Mart did not do the same thing. Target’s campaign was interactive and gave its audience a platform to share real opinions and have actual conversations. Wal-Mart disabled the discussion board and limited any kind of sharing to wall posts. Unfortunately, the wall posts were not positive comments or pictures of dorm rooms furnished by Target, like in their competitor’s Facebook campaign. Facebook users took to Wal-Mart’s wall to post about the company’s poor labor practices and corporate irresponsibility. Some experts feel that Wal-Mart set themselves up for failure by trying to position themselves as style leaders instead of a resource for discounts.

YouTube — A YouTube video spoof was posted showing how easy it is to break a Samsung cell phone. While Motorola at first said they didn’t post the video, it eventually came out that they did create it as an internal joke. I guess. The weird part is that the video was copyrighted by Motorola!

Social media blunders can quickly cause you to lose your social media reputation. But stay cool in the face of crisis and make sure you don’t repeat the types of mistakes outlined in this blog.
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