It seems to occur with dizzying frenzy lately: one major corporation after another is falling prey to horrifying social media blunders. In today’s blog post, we are going to dissect these mistakes and hopefully learn a thing or two about how to handle these PR disasters.
It was the F bomb heard round the Twitterverse. A social media manager for Walmart recently posted a curse word assuming they were using their personal account. Most people perceived this to be an honest mistake. Our guess is that the Facebook account manager responsible suffered a mild heart attack. The lesson here is incredibly straightforward: make sure you are posting from the correct account. And then check again.
On 9/11 of this year, AT&T tweeted an image of one of their phones capturing a picture of the memorial lights of the Twin Towers with the caption “Never Forget.” The post was called opportunistic and tasteless and many even threatened to end their contract with AT&T. Though the past was eventually taken down, the damage had already been done. Use good sense when posting content to your fans and if in doubt, ask your friends and colleagues for advice.
And who could forget the most recent offense from Home Depot who tweeted out a racist photo of two African-American drummers and a person in a gorilla mask with the question “Which drummer is not like the others?” Though the home improvement retailer pulled its tweet and sent out an apology soon thereafter claiming the person and agency responsible for the tweet had been fired, the backlash may have cost them some serious customers, respect, and credibility.
Make sure you are working with a trustworthy social media company—one who can understand that your reputation is at stake.