Let me open with a disclaimer: Please bear with the usage of ‘fantasy lingo’ as you move on to the next line.
In my head, social media is essentially a platform for ‘Star Wars’ wherein ‘established’ to ‘start-up’ brands wage a battle to become the reigning superhero of the digital galaxy. Using social media tools as their super powers, many a time brands have created extraordinary wonders and also exceptionally overrated blunders. Didn’t someone say, “With power comes responsibility!?”
Someone also said, “Our social tools are not an improvement to modern society, they are a challenge to it.” Do you too agree with this? Do you too think that in today’s fast-paced world with hundreds of brands vying for our attention at the same time, and the advent of new media, the use of social media tools is a challenge in itself? It might be, but there are enough more ways to make sure you are on the top of your game.Think about it, meanwhile you can sample some of these instances on the social media blunders that happened:
Once upon a time in 2013, when Boston was getting over the terror attack, Epicurious, a food website, displayed deep insensitivity as they lost their social media senses and tweeted atrocious posts! To share a few with you: “Boston, our hearts are with you. Here’s a bowl of breakfast energy we could all use to start today”, “In honor of Boston and New England, may we suggest: whole-grain cranberry scones!” Image source: http://goo.gl/GIcjoQ
SERIOUSLY? Breakfast energy? Whole-grain cranberry scones? This was quite a ‘tasteless strategy’ by the brand to ride on an intense national tragedy to promote their products! Though Epicurious couldn’t fetch the targeted ‘sympathy food orders’, but it indeed fetched backlashes worldwide. Like Epicurious, there are many renowned brands that created the same blunder which lead to a complete social media disaster.
Who wouldn’t be familiar with MTV? Known for its youth-centric and exciting content, super-hit campaigns and a variety of branded initiatives, the music channel in 2013 wished the late legendary singer, John Lennon, ‘a joyous year ahead!’ on his birthday. Image source: http://goo.gl/srHXDh
Picking up yet another fiasco from the brimming basket of social media bloopers, Star World once made a horrendous faux pas by tweeting highly obnoxious words, leaving the world in a fit of chortles! Image source: http://goo.gl/Gxd59n
Some time back, an oblivion lover on Social Samosa went so emotional with a broken heart that the person tweeted the post traumatic effect of his/her breakup on the BRAND’s page. Image source: http://goo.gl/Gxd59n
Now for the most recent blunder by NDTV Good-Times… The channel handle tweeted: “I’m pissed off with this office. This office sucks.” Oh, ok! The world knows now! Though the channel deleted the tweet post a quick realization, but of course they would be unable to delete it from the list of the social media bloopers made by brands so far. Image source: http://goo.gl/fuYvaa
Well, the ball of such aforementioned bloopers has been on the roll since social media came into existence, and is still rolling as the medium evolves with more entrants. Do brands still take social media too casually and it is left as the sole responsibility of the inexperienced interns? Or, in some cases these ‘reluctant blunders’ from all over the globe can be just publicity stunts to get the brand noticed and trend on a fun note! Having said that, to err is human, more so since there are people like you and me managing the social media campaigns of any company or brand. The most ideal thing to do would be to assess and react accordingly, apologize if required or tackle the situation in a funny and humorous way. And then of course move on! P.S. Stay tuned to enjoy the last sip! Catch the 5 ways to avoid social media disasters in our next blog post!
Story Credit/ Contributor: Ananya Garg. Follow her on Twitter: @AnanyaGarg29