Another year of a world immersed in social media has passed us and it still seems companies have still not fully got the hang of this social media thing just yet. Masters in Marketing have contacted us this week after creating an interesting infographic rounding up the worst mistakes from brands in 2013. Now if you read the Prohibition blog regularly you will know we like a #fail or two.
Stand-out examples are:
Burger King’s Twitter hacking
Burger King had its Twitter account taken over in 2013 by hackers. What happened was the worst possible case scenario for Burger King, they turned their page into an advert for their biggest rival McDonalds. Changing their logo to the classic McDonalds they began and posting about their competitor and followed this up with tweets about drug abuse. The result however was that the Burger King account actually increased in tens of thousands of followers as users caught word of what was happening to the fast food giant. Eventually the team regained control of their account and found they had an increase in popularity blurring the lines between disaster and triumph. You can decide on whether that one was a success or fail.
KMART’s longer hours
KMART in America proudly announced that it would open earlier on Thanksgiving and stay open throughout the following day. The reception was not what they expected. Social media users ridiculed the store asking why they would force their employees to work longer hours on a holiday. Users questioned the ethics behind their decisions and KMART did little to help the matter, responding with the very generic; “Kmart is staffing w/teams & seasonal associates when possible, giving them opportunity to make extra money during holiday”.
Spearmint Rhino’s Baby Picture
Spearmint Rhino Strip-club found themselves in trouble when their Melbourne team posted a baby photo asking Facebook users to guess which member of the team it was. Before long people started commenting on the date of the VHS screenshot which only made the girl 15.
The infographic below is a great visual summary with an eye catching timeline containing some tips that these affected companies could definitely learn from. The graphic covers some great fails but of course cannot cover them all therefore further sources are included. Earlier this month you might remember we wrote an article containing some of the best fails from this year and previous years. If you still can’t get enough, check out E Consultancy’s top 16 social media fails which has some interesting examples in as well.
It is proving more and more essential to think before you tweet, ensuring that you or the company you work for does not make one of these lists. Social media, when used correctively can be a huge boost to your company however it is vital you remember that nothing these days can be deleted online. If you think you need to refresh your skills on Crisis Management give us a call.
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About Natalie Richmond

Account Executive at Prohibition PR.