Social media is the saving grace for some brands and the disgrace of others. By now, most businesses understand how essential it is to include these platforms in their marketing strategies. Unfortunately, many easy-to-make mistakes can permanently destroy a brand’s online reputation.
One Google search will quickly reveal the most common social media mistakes that brands make. You’ll find several lists containing all the usual culprits:
- Failing to vet your social media managers
- Responding to negative feedback inappropriately or not at all
- Paying for likes, followers, and shares
- Repeatedly sharing the same content
- Posting too much or too little
- Always pushing and promoting your products or services
- Sharing an inconsistent brand message
- Being too formal and using poor grammar
These mistakes are all easy to make, which is why businesses turn to experienced professionals to take the reins, like Click Intelligence, a top marketing agency, who can take complete control of your social media. By hiring an expert, you can cut down on most of the common mistakes listed above in one fell swoop.
As relevant as all those errors are, they are many other brand-busting blunders that businesses can and have made on social media.
Hopping on the Misery Train
When people are suffering, don’t jump on the hashtag to get a little extra exposure. Gap Inc. made that mistake when Hurricane Sandy, the deadliest storm of the 2012 season, ripped north American cities apart.
The first part of their tweet stated, “All impacted by #Sandy, stay safe!” Unfortunately, some bright idiot decided to get a little plug in for the chain, adding, “We’ll be doing lots of Gap.com shopping today. How about you?”
The public wasn’t impressed.
Keep Business and Personal Very Separate
If you’re a business owner, watch what you say. A Ketchum VP failed to do so when he decided to tweet about his hatred for Memphis. Unfortunately, that happens to be the location of the FedEx headquarters – one of his biggest clients.
Another victim of his own tongue was Dan Cathy. After the CEO made a remark that supported traditional families, gay activists and allies took offense. Many are still boycotting Chick-fil-A to this day.
Edgy Is Good, Cringey is Bad
Belvedere Vodka has posted some unusual campaigns over the years. However, when it shared its “Belvedere goes down easy.” tweet, the accompanying image didn’t go over well. There’s nothing edgy about using unwanted sexual advances as a marketing tactic. It’s just lewd and cringey.
Double-Check the Intention of Trending Tags
In 2012, Celeb Boutique proudly claimed the trending #Aurora tags, sure that the topic was their Kardashian inspired dress. Unfortunately for the brand, it was actually about the tragic Colorado shooting.
They weren’t the first to make this mistake. DiGiorno hopped onto the viral hashtag #WhyIStayed in 2014, using it to market their pizza. Unfortunately, it was being used by Ray Rice’s abuse victims after the Baltimore Ravens terminated his contract.
Moderate Your Content
If users can humiliate you publicly by hijacking your hashtags, trust them to do just that. Unfortunately, Starbucks had to experience this the hard way.
In 2012, the public hijacked the brand’s holiday hashtag. Instead of projecting festive messages on the Museum’s display, #SpreadTheCheer gave the annoyed public the perfect platform to bash the coffee café brand.
If you’re going to have a live feed anywhere, moderate your content, or suffer the consequences.
The Final Station Is Humiliation
It’s your brand and your social media accounts. You need to decide how to manage your advertisements, share it with your audience, and what your message will be. However, before you start posting and sharing:
- Take a moment to slow down
- Read your tweet
- Check your hashtags
- Moderate your content
- Recheck everything
All clear? Nothing offensive? Good. Hit post, and hope for the best. If you, or your agency, did the job right, you won’t end up at Humiliation Station.