Social Media #Fail(s)


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This presentation focuses on social media fails and blunders. Twitter is the focus of the presentation including inappropriate business tweets and failures to communicate effectively with community members and a larger audience. Failures are important to understand so that social marketers and managers can use crisis communications to respond correctly to fix mistakes.

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Social Media #Fail(s)

  1. 1. Social Media #Fail(s) and How to Deal With Them Susan Fant / These Slides are for Educational Purposes Only – The University of Alabama Marketing Department MKT597: Digital & Social Media Marketing Fall Semester 2013
  2. 2. What are Social Media Fails? • Tweets / Posts from angry employees who utilize a company’s official accounts • Poorly timed messages on official accounts • Messages in poor taste (cursing when the company is family friendly etc.) • Bottom Line: When the representation and branding of the company does not match the type of post utilized correctly.
  3. 3. Representation is Key • When you’re an employee of a company or organization you represent that company as well as yourself  this is especially true for public persons like TV news anchors, actors, officials, and company c-suites (CEOs etc). • When outsiders relate you to the company or organization you represent that group (whether you like it or not).
  4. 4. Local News Anchor Makes Today Show Coverage Shea Allen, a fixture on the evening news for Huntsville, Ala., ABC affiliate WAAY, has been let go from her position for revealing confessions on her personal blog. 2619485
  5. 5. Whoops, Tweets. • First type of #fail: Tweets / Posts from angry employees who utilize a company’s official accounts
  6. 6. How to Recover? • Respond quickly. Keep tone and voice intact.
  7. 7. Bad Timing, Tweets. • Second type of #Fail: Poorly timed messages on official accounts
  8. 8. Bad Timing, Tweets (2) Gap estimates their tweet cost them over $1,000,000 in bad publicity (Business Insider).
  9. 9. How to Recover? • Take a step back. Apologize. Now. Re-think your social media campaigns. • Things to think about: does it break or build your brand, while a lot of it is free publicity what should the reaction actually be from the company side?
  10. 10. @P($*@(, Tweets. • Messages in poor taste (cursing when the company is family friendly etc.)
  11. 11. How to recover? • In the proceeding Tweet, the agency was fired for the slip up. • Control Tweetdeck or any other apps employees use to Tweet from personal account and corporate accounts. Switching back and forth tends to be the main problem.
  12. 12. Another Fail = Not Engaging
  13. 13. How to Deal with Engagement • The Progressive Auto Insurance Case: – Progressive did not respond to anyone on social media after a major case in court. – A blog post went viral from a stakeholder / thousands of people tweet that they will drop Progressive. – “The Court of Public Opinion” moves rapidly and has huge reputational impact. – Explaining roles and impacts can be difficult. – Companies must be watching hashtags and dialogues that they cannot outright control.
  14. 14. Corporate Twitter Hacks
  15. 15. What Actually Happened with the @BurgerKing / @McDonalds Hack?
  16. 16. How to Deal with Hacks? • Is it a fake out? • There could be an outside organization hacking the accounts. • There could be some cross promotional branding. • Ultimately it’s best to be out in the open and take tweets head on and directly.
  17. 17. How to be Preventative • Engage employees. • Develop a social media plan for the organization that represents them best. • Talk about “longer-term” strategy planning and social media is building a brand’s reputation up with decision makers. • Reward positive social media outcomes and set examples. Source:
  18. 18. Ways to Not Fail • Don’t promise fans then not deliver. Loyal fans can quickly become nasty when they feel betrayed by the brand. (Keep up with contests, promotions, and release dates.) • Don’t go outside the brand. For example, pop band NSYNC’s recent update about a political issue created an uproar from fans who didn’t want the band’s opinion, but just wanted music.
  19. 19. Engage in Crisis Communications (Because it Really is a Crisis). 1. Inform staff, clients and key audiences that there is a problem and you are searching for solutions. 2. Apologize for the problems the situation may cause (and apologize often). 3. Immediately define the dimensions of the crisis, and look for both temporary workarounds and permanent fixes. 4. Put your crisis plan in motion. With all hands on deck and all active / running social media channels open. Source:
  20. 20. More Social Media Fails:
  21. 21. Questions?