It’s a new year and that means we should look forward to analysing trends and plan our strategy, but let’s face it: it’s much more fun to look back on the biggest social media slip-ups from the previous year!
In that spirit, here are 2019’s biggest #socialmediafails – complete with lessons we can learn:
Lesson: Support bots are not bad in and of themselves (in fact they can be a really useful way to address common queries), but they should not give the impression of being a real person.
2) Chase Bank
On Monday 29 April 2019, Chase Bank posted its idea of a #MondayMotivation tweet which came across as patronising and lacking in empathy.
After a furious backlash, the bank updated its Twitter status to say: “Our Monday Motivation is to get better at Monday Motivation. Thanks for the feedback Twitter world.”
Lesson: Try not to insult your customers!
For a brand that is usually so in tune with its customers, Dove made a surprising blunder by releasing an ad that appeared to show a black woman being ‘transformed’ into a white woman after using a Dove product. The ad starts with a black woman in a brown t-shirt. She takes off her top to reveal a white woman wearing a white t-shirt. The racial connotations were obvious and Dove apologised after receiving complaints.
Lesson: Avoid any racially charged messaging in your advertising.
On International Women’s Day, appliances manufacturer Miele shared its view of what made women unique. Apparently, this was being very excited to be in the vicinity of a washing machine and tumble dryer. Safe to say, the brand’s Facebook fans were less than impressed, and the post was quickly deleted.
Lesson: Think carefully before reinforcing stereotypes, especially when they’re incompatible with an event that your brand claims to support.
5) Sunny Co Clothing
Sunny Co Clothing ran a social media promotion for ‘Pamela’, its new Baywatch-themed swimming costume. In order to get its campaign noticed, the brand offered a free costume (worth $65) to everyone who re-posted and tagged their promotional picture within 24 hours. The response, however, took Sunny Co Clothing completely by surprise with over 3,000 people sharing the image in the first few hours.
The brand was unable to fulfil so many orders and issued a second post announcing it was capping the promotion. Unsurprisingly, their new social media fans weren’t happy, with responses ranging from sarcastic to downright furious.
Lesson: Only promise what you can deliver! If you’re doing a give-away, consider offering a fixed number of freebies rather than an unlimited amount.
We hope these social media slip-ups have shown you that although errors of judgement can and do happen, it’s not difficult to learn lessons from other brands’ mistakes.
To plan your 2020 social media strategy, book yourself onto our next Embrace the Space social media course.