Pitfalls of Irresponsible Social Media


You need not be a novice in the world of social media to make a blunder. Even the biggest brands slip up sometimes. Since social media is widely used around the globe, it is important to use it wisely. A constantly changing game, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms are being used by millions of people every single day.

Hashtags, trending topics, and the fact that content can be shared so easily means that you can easily grasp your audience’s attention with the correct tactics. It also means, however, that irresponsible posting can strip you of control and potentially tarnish your company’s image.

Brands that Made Social Media Mistakes

There are a few valuable lessons to be learned from some of the most followed social media accounts, including that of the New York Police Department, better known as the NYPD or #MyNYPD on Twitter. When the PR team came up with the bright idea that that would present the residents of New York with positive press, little did they know that it would bring to light police brutality.

American Apparel also made a pretty big blunder on the 4th of July 2016, when the clothing brand’s Tumblr account featured a post of what initially looked like funky fireworks on a red background. It turns out that whoever was in charge of the widely famous brand’s social media accounts didn’t do their research; it was actually a photograph of the Challenge space shuttle crash. Seven people died in the tragedy back in 1986 and following backlash, the brand’s PR team apologized for their ignorance.

Here are a few other brands that have experienced the aftermath of a social media marketing mistake:

  • HMV – This British entertainment retailer stupidly granted the entire staff team access to the official HMV Twitter account. Dissatisfied members of the team described a layoff of 60 employees as a “mass execution”.
  • DC Comics – Just last year, DC Comics informed their readers that their latest comic had been translated from Pakistan. Pretty embarrassing since Urdu is the official language of Pakistan.
  • Total Beauty – If you tweet a photo of Whoopi Goldberg and unknowingly refer to the female as Oprah Winfrey, you’re sure to upset a few people, just like Total Beauty did.

What have these social media fails taught us about being responsible with social media?

Maintaining a good social media status is equally as important as maintaining the quality of your products and/or services nowadays. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter are used by millions of people every day, with a big portion of these people being online shoppers. With your audience right there, you must take the following lessons on board:

  • Update your page regularly and monitor the posts before you publish!
  • Set aside a certain amount of time to work on your company’s social media accounts daily.
  • Don’t reply to all the comments. Although replying to comments is a nice way of staying connected, it means that some social media users will feel less special.
  • Research thoroughly prior to posting and referencing news-related issues.
  • Avoid post overload! You want to keep your audience intrigued, so allow them to sit tight and surprise them when they least expect it.
  • Make sure your brand is clear and consistent on all social media platforms.

We Love Live®. For a complimentary 30-minute consultation on how to build your brand and inspire an audience through events and communications, please contact Brian Duffy by calling 630.427.4235 or by emailing bduffy@onesmoothstone.com


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