Marketing & Social Media

The Most Careless Social Media Errors of 2016

Social media errors are nothing new, but for businesses or big name influencers, errors on these platforms can result in a heavy blow to a brand’s reputation. A report from MarketingSherpa states that 95% of adults aged 18-34 are likely to follow a brand via social media, while a report from Ambassador states that 71% of those that have a good social media experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others. So it’s a no-brainer that when businesses commit social media fails, it can result in some unfortunate consequences.

While mistakes can be made in many different ways – out of poor taste or an insensitive point of view – the most aggravating fails for a brand can be ones that were easily avoidable, had it not been for one lackadaisical publisher who pressed “send” too soon. These mistakes, while harmlessly made, can hurt a brand’s public image all the same. Let’s take a look at 2016’s victors of the most careless social media errors.

Proofread Before You Publish

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It’s always a good rule of thumb to reread your posts, carefully, before publishing them to social media, because nothing can hurt a brand’s credibility faster than a typo. This was the case when reality TV personality, Scott Disick, failed to proofread his Instagram ad made on behalf of the company, Booteau. In his Instagram post he revealed a little too much information when he accidentally copied and pasted the company’s entire email to him, including the posting instructions.

This fail made the brand, as well as the influencer, look less trustworthy. It also put the company out a few thousand dollars for contracting Disick.

Fact-checking Isn’t Optional

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Nothing spells out lazy and uninformed to an audience quite like a post that was not thoroughly researched. In the worst cases, when the misinformation can also be seen as ignorant, it can be insulting to audiences and actually cause companies to lose clientele.

Coca-Cola saw this firsthand when their lack of knowledge of Russian geography was evident in their ad featuring an outdated map of the country. The map omits Kaliningrad, the city that was annexed after WWII and has been a part of Russia ever since. This lack of awareness from the American soft drink company rubbed Russian soda drinkers the wrong way and many citizens responded by posting photos of Coca-Cola being poured into toilets. Needless to say, annoying an entire nation was not in the soda company’s plans.

Make Sure You’re Using The Correct Account

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Making sure that you publish from the right social media account may seem obvious, but with all the personal and company accounts individuals are accumulating, it has become increasingly easier to confuse which one you’re currently logged into.

Case in point, a staffer in charge of the Department of Justice’s Twitter account posted this very opinionated tweet about CNN while under the belief that they were actually posting from their personal account. To make matters worse, the post was shared during the Republican National Convention when a tweet like this would get the utmost attention.

Needless to say, this is an utter cringe-worthy social media fail that would do irreversible damage to any company’s reputation. Luckily, a government sector like the Department of Justice will do just fine and be able to withstand the blunder, though the same can’t necessarily be said for the staffer who posted the tweet.

Always Note The Date of A Post

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Retweets and reposts are a common occurrence, even when it comes to a customer service inquiry. A retweet of an Amtrak traveler’s post requesting assistance after being trapped in an elevator at the BWI Airport Amtrak station, went viral in early September when Amtrak responded to the tweet with this response, “We’re sorry to hear that. Are you still stuck in the elevator?” The internet went wild when it was brought to light that the tweet was originally posted back in February of 2016, inviting many people to poke fun at the ditziness of Amtrak’s customer support team.

An image that was tweeted in response to the viral fail:

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In actuality, Amtrak had responded to the customer complaint on that day back in February and had rescued Ms.Carpenter from the elevator in good time. The blunder was not double checking this information before responding to a retweet of the February complaint again in September and failing to note the original post date. While the truth helped Amtrak recover, the hilarity of their September misstep has stuck to the company’s online reputation.

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So, publishers, avoid a social media fail by double-checking a post’s details before clicking that send button. One convenient way to do this is by managing all of your social media posts, gathering feedback/edits, and creating as many approval rounds as necessary with GAIN.

After approval, GAIN automatically schedules and publishes your content on the social networks. Social media fails, especially careless ones, can be too difficult for a company to sidestep. Avoid the experience by requesting a free demo or starting a free GAIN trial today.

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