There is literally nothing more satisfying than seeing a big business make a massive social media mistake. Like, remember when United Airlines did that thing and it was, like, really embarrassing, and then they did an even worse job of publicly apologizing on Twitter. Yeah. Us too.
We’re not bad people, okay? We just enjoy the occasional, monumental social media mistakes. We’ll talk about some our favorites throughout this article, but, as always, we are mostly here to help small business’ and startups avoid these blunders. That being said, that’s what this blog post is all about. Now, God forgive if we use the wrong your, or some shit, in out tweet about this article. Without further ado, let’s learn to avoid making some mistakes on the ~internet~.
Shall we start with the painfully obvious? Of course, we should. For anyone with a Twitter account (the only platform that doesn’t let you go back and edit your posts), spelling mistakes are as fatal as the black plague. We can say that because people, like, don’t get that anymore, do they?
The fix: Idk, look at your tweet before pressing send? An easy fix, yes, but sometimes your tweets are just so ~fire~ that you can’t look at them for too long or you’ll burst into flames. We totally understand.
The DiGiorno Pizza Twitter account has become notorious overnight because of this blunder they made in 2014. PEOPLE ARE STILL TALKING ABOUT THIS. Some context: The viral hashtag #WhyIStayed was meant to raise awareness around victims of domestic violence. DiGiorno missed the point completely and proceeded to tweet, “#WhyIStayed You had pizza.” #yikes.
The fix: Do your research! Read some other tweets/Insta posts that include said hashtag. Twitter could not make this easier. Even if you think you’re culturally relevant, you ain’t, so double check.
Hi! Author of this post here! As a content and social media manager, I understand how static and unchanging we want our social media calendars to be. But, just like in life, sometimes things change. We have to roll with the punches!
The fix: No matter how proud you are of the Instagram post you have planned for tomorrow, if a natural disaster occurs or Prince Harry gets married, YOU NEED TO COVER THAT NOISE. How relevant is your brand if you aren’t covering world news? Answer: not really relevant. P.S. If you are a business that provides a service and that service is out of order, acknowledge your customers’ questions on social media before you send out your regularly scheduled meme.
We would like to think that this blunder-avoidance tactic is more obvious than spelling errors, but sadly this is not the case. People lie on social media all the time. Even when they don’t mean to. Think about a celebrity that photoshops their Instagram posts to make them look thinner. Is this really hurting anyone? Is this really a lie? YES and YES. Celebrities/influencers, in particular, tend to have younger fans whose brains are just malleable enough to believe that real people can be that thin. Now think about your self-esteem in middle school.
The fix: Don’t lie? Applying a filter is one thing, but face-tuning your arm is another. People are smart!!! They will figure it out. We talked a lot about celebrities, but this also applies to businesses. No matter what you lie about, big or small, it will hurt your credibility as a company.
While we may have been named the snowflake generation, it doesn’t give anyone the permission to post things that are so clearly offensive because “you don’t care about being politically correct”. The truth of the matter is that people are offensive and people get offended. This may be unavoidable, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to avoid it. Especially if you’re a business.
The fix: A few tips here: if you even think that something might offend someone, it probably will. Get a second and third opinion on some of your posts—if only someone at Pepsi would have read this post. Think about your audience. For example, if your audience is mostly millennials, don’t retweet that blog post about millennials and avocado toast and buying houses. Frankly, we’re over it.