What We Can All Learn from Infamous Social Media Fails

Social media is a unique digital marketing tactic. In paid search, for instance, campaigns are set up & optimized within a platform that SEMs aren’t typically using on a daily basis for personal reasons. Even if a search manager is using AdWords for a non-work campaign, the likelihood of them confusing one for a client’s account is pretty low.

That’s why I was none-to-surprised when I read this post on Search Engine Journal featuring 35 examples of social media fails. You see, in numerous cases, brands were embarrassed on Twitter or Facebook because of one simple mistake: a community or brand manager accidentally posting something meant for their personal account.


Likely, these examples of “erroneous posts” land the offender fired. Try explaining that one on your next interview.

Having your company or advertiser’s Twitter account on your iPhone can be a good thing– especially if you plan on posting from live events. Otherwise, there’s really no need for it. My recommendation: if you need it one day, for say a show or conference, add it to your phone that morning, and remove it the minute you’re done. Also, watch your alcohol consumption while having that account on your phone– probably should go without saying, but as many brand managers tend to be in their 20’s, it might not seem so obvious to all.

Otherwise, you could find yourself as red-faced as Chrysler was, over this tweet that wasn’t quite deleted soon enough:


Some of the other major social media fails on SEJ’s list consisted of poorly-timed hastag hijacking. I cannot believe that this is not common sense, but trying to tie your brand into a natural disaster or societal upheaval probably isn’t in anyone’s best interest.

What are some other, lessor-known social media fails that made you shake your head?

Postscript: Though I penned this post last weekend, some unfortunate soul at US Airways decided to post a very NSFW photo on their Twitter feed yesterday, once again reaffirming: be careful out there, brand managers.

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