Published on December 4th, 2016 | by Guest


4 Advanced Mistakes (with Examples) You Might Do in Your Social Media Campaign

According to a study by Convince& Convert, 53% of the Americans who follows brands on Twitter are more loyal to them. And Hubspot’s research indicated that 80% of the marketers that invested in social media marketing believed that it boosted traffic to their websites.

However, it doesn’t mean that you are allowed to do on social media anything that comes up to your mind. The same care that you have with any other campaign, you should have on Facebook, Twitter, and other networks as well.

Why you need to be extra careful about your social media campaign

It is a fact that a mistake made by a brand on social media is more severely considered if compared to those committed by people in general, for the following reasons:

  • People expect you to behave like a brand and to provide only high-quality content.
  • You are the odd one at the party, a company trying to sell something in a place where they just want to hang out.
  • Social media moves fast, but it never forgets. Even if you delete your post immediately after it being published, someone might have already screenshot and distributed it.

As you can see, you have too much at stake when it comes to creating social media campaigns. So pay special attention to the seven worst mistakes (with real examples) that we are going to discuss below, and never let any of them ruin your sales or reputation (or both).

# 1 – Not checking your reputation first

Yes, we all understand that social media is about dialogue. People are there to have an online conversation, so if you can provide them with opportunities to talk to you, that is what you should do. It is why #Ask hashtags became so famous on Reddit and ended up being adopted by several other networks.

But, before creating an open channel on social media, it is important that you check how your reputation is going. If you already know that you will become an easy target, maybe you should invest in a different campaign.

SeaWorld, JP Morgan, and Starbucks: Maybe they should have stayed quiet

Look at what happened to SeaWorld, which innocently decided to promote themselves by launching a #AskSeaWorld Twitter campaign. Needless to say that all animal activists and people who support the cause worldwide saw it as a perfect opportunity to ask all possible embarrassing questions.

And instead of taking it candidly, SeaWorld tried to defend themselves by saying that the messages were coming from bullies and bots. Of course, it only flamed people’s mood more. And even nowadays, when the campaign is over, the hashtag remains alive.

Starbucks campaign #RaceTogether wasn’t very successful either. Only 7% of the tweets received were considered as positive, and 62% were extremely negative or directly against the campaign itself.

And the multinational banking and financial services JP Morgan certainly will never launch a live Q&A campaign again. During six hours, they faced the worst type of harassment from people implying that they deal with drug cartels, among other accusations.

Lesson learned:

  • Check how your reputation is before putting your brand (and your CEO) in evidence – a quick look at the comments on your Facebook page or the reviews about your product would give you the insights you need here.

# 2 – Making funny jokes (that aren’t funny at all)

You definitely should be very careful here. Jokes are a sensitive matter as what is funny for me might not be funny to you. And it is not about people with no sense of humour. It is just that it is a cultural subject, really.

Of course, putting a smile on your customer’s face is something that you should try to do as often as you can. But be careful not to copy these companies’ ideas below:

MTV Australia, The Home Depot, The Kitchen Aid, and Pepsi: NO, it wasn’t funny

MTV Australia thought it was hilarious ask for English subtitles when the actresses America Ferrera and Eva Longoria were on the stage at the Golden Globes. They had to apologise twice.

And The Home Depot also considered funny to post an image of two black men sitting beside someone wearing a monkey mask, and then ask which one wasn’t like the others (seriously?!)

And it can get worse: The KitchenAid decided to make a joke about President Obama’s grandmother dying just three days before he was elected as proof that she knew that it would be bad for the country.

One more? Pepsi used a voodoo doll dressed as Cristiano Ronaldo, who was about to get his head crushed on train tracks in one of their ads. As a result, they helped to found a 150k people anti-Pepsi online community.

Lesson learned:


  • Yes, you need to consider your target audience first. But, remember, that you talking to a much larger audience on social media – so make sure that your joke is REALLY funny and to everybody (not just for yourself).


# 3 – Leaving your accounts to be updated by unprepared or unhappy people

It should be a no-brainer, but it isn’t. Your social media accounts should be updated by someone who has experience doing it, and that will be loyal to your values. Or these are the consequences:

BBC, ESPN, Blackberry, Microsoft, and HMV: why people are still important

In June of 2015, a BBC journalist used her own Twitter account to announce Queen Elizabeth’s death (she was only doing a check-up in a hospital). In an incident that shocked the world for a while – she deleted the posts not long after, you could notice several mistakes, such as:

  • As a BBC’s employee, she shouldn’t be using her personal account to break any news, especially something of that level of importance.


  • She tried to fix the mistake by saying that it was a “false alarm”, and then later “that it was a silly prank”, ruined any chance to maintain her credibility after the incident.


In January of the same year, ESPN recruiting analyst Gerry Hamilton added a link to a pornographic video to his tweet about Roquan Smith’s official visit to Texas A&M. By mistake, of course.

Blackberry also suffered after Alicia Keys, their celebrity endorser, sent a promotional tweet about the brand from her iPhone. And last year, it was their own team who asked customers for brand loyalty sending tweets through an iPhone.

Of course, you shouldn’t think that it means that you are better off making the process as automated as possible. Just remember what happened to the AI created by Microsoft to answer tweets for them. It took less than a day to trolls learn to trick it and make the poor bot become a notorious racist.

But you also shouldn’t leave it in the hands of unhappy employees just as HMV did. They were tweeting while being fired, telling the world things that the board of directors would rather never see published.

Lesson learned:   

  • Only allow qualified people and aligned to your company’s value to update your social media accounts.

# 4 – Going mad at bad responses

You know that social media happens online and that it means that you might have to face some negative replies and comments. So there is no point in going mad and start shouting on social media when it happens. You should always remain as a good sport and avoid behaving like this:

Amy’s Baking Company and Tinder: how to make things worse

Unfortunately, Amy’s Baking Company didn’t take well the result of their appearance on an episode of Gordon Ramsay’s “Kitchen Nightmares”. Flooded by negative comments, they start answering people back by calling them “little punks”, “fools”, and saying that they were covered as they had God on their side.

Tinder also didn’t like the way it was portrait on a Vanity Fair’s article. They start to attack the magazine, saying that they were publishing one-sided journalism – and they got an answer back from the journalist asking if they were trying to imply that it was necessary to ask their permission before writing anything.

Lesson learned:

  • Brace yourself for impact: you can prepare in advance how you are going to answer hate comments, so you don’t do it when you are feeling angry and frustrated.


About the author:

Nicole Boyer is a web designer, SEO consultant and contributing blogger for many websites. She enjoys discovering new things and seeing new places. Talk to Nicole on Twitter or Facebook.

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