As the New Year begins, we recall the top ten social media fails of the past two years. These are the ones that stand out; if there are any others that you think were as juicy for news, be sure to comment on our blog.
The immediacy of social media makes it the ideal way for businesses to expose themselves to mockery by sending out a hasty and unthinkable tweet without thinking through the consequences.
But not all of the examples on this list are sinful tweets – indeed some of the fails have been reversed with a sincere apology and reply. Others were not so lucky.
So without further ado, here’s the top 10 list of disastrous social media campaigns.
In August of 2012, Ryanair traveler was forced to pay 300 euros for forgetting to print off her family’s boarding passes. She posted this complaint on Facebook and received 350,000 likes and 18,000 supporting comments as a result. The Chief executive of the company, Michael O’Leary, unapologetically said, “We thing Mrs. McLeod should pay 60 euros for being so stupid.” What happened to his customer service skills?
In January of 2012, McDonald’s invited its customers to use the Twitter hashtag to share their experiences of dining inside the McDonald’s restaurants (#McDStories). The fast food giant was hoping for some heart-warming tales and experiences. Instead, they faced an army of consumers taking this as an opportunity to criticize the franchise’s bad quality food, poor customer service and their treatment of animals.
3. American Red Cross:
Red Cross’ Tweet read, “Ryan found two more 4 bottle packs of Dogfish Head’s Midas Touch beer…when we drink we do it right #gettingslizzerd.”
Response, “We’ve deleted the problematic tweet but rest assured the Red Cross is sober and we’ve confiscated keys.”
What happened? Someone at the American Red Cross accidentally tweeted a personal, unprofessional message on the non-profit organization’s official Twitter account. The response was received quite well using self-depricating humor.
Chrysler decided to drop an F-bomb on thousands of followers on Twitter. It tweeted, “I find it ironic that Detroit is known as #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to fucking drive.” New Media Strategies, Chrysler’s agency, accidentally tweeted it and the tweet was promptly canned. Chrysler made a public apology for such remarks and decided not to renew the agency’s contract. Can anyone blame them?
5. Anthony Weiner:
Anthony Weiner sent his Twitter followers lewd pictures of himself online. This is a bad idea, especially when you are a married public figure in congress with a kid on the way. Weiner initially claimed that his account was hacked. It was later reported that Weiner admitted to engaging in flirtations with other women while he was marred. He resigned 8 days after the statement was released to the public.
Lesson? Don’t post anything you don’t want the world to know about or see for that matter.