Social media is a vital tool for increasing brand awareness and building customer loyalty. However, it can just as easily be a liability to your business if it is not used appropriately.
Whether it’s a misguided tweet, an offensive image, or a hacked account, mishandled social media can lead to massive PR disasters which can leave even the biggest company feeling humbled.
Here are some of the top corporate social media fails in recent times.
In one of the most tasteless marketing moves we have seen, Fashion designer Kenneth Cole used the Egyptian Revolution of 2011 to shamelessly promote his brand.
The violent clashes that resulted from the revolution left over 800 people dead and over 6,000 injured.
His tweet caused a firestorm in the Twittersphere, with many condemning him for making light of a very serious situation.
Cole was forced to apologise, later tweeting, “Re Egypt tweet: we weren’t intending to make light of a serious situation. We understand the sensitivity of this historic moment -KC.”
Twitter exploded after satirical news organisation, The Onion, posted this misjudged tweet about 9-year-old Oscar nominee, Quvenzhané Wallis. Although the Onion is famous for its cutting satire, this tweet was not funny or satirical, and people were furious. As a result, the CEO of the Onion had to issue a formal apology to Wallis, admitting that the tweet was “crude and offensive”.
In 2014, American Apparel posted an image of a smoke explosion to celebrate the 4th of July. However, unknown the person who posted it, the image was actually from the 1986 Challenger explosion, in which Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart a minute into its flight, killing all seven crew members.
One of the funnier faux pas we have seen was made by British Airways last year. The airline accidentally shared a post to Facebook, promoting the cheap flights of its rival, Virgin Atlantic.
A Virgin Atlantic spokesperson told MailOnline Travel: ‘We were quite surprised to see that British Airways shared our post, however, on this occasion, we do agree with them that Virgin Atlantic is the only way to fly.’
McDonalds recently sent out this tweet trolling Donald Trump on their official twitter account. The tweet was met with both praise and threats to boycott. McDonald’s claimed that their account had been hacked and issued an apology.
During the 2014 World Cup, the USA defeated Ghana 2-1. To celebrate the win, Delta Airlines posted the game’s score, with the Statue of Liberty representing the USA and a giraffe representing Ghana. This would have been a nice sentiment if it weren’t for one fact: Giraffes don’t live in Ghana!