Launching the social media marketing efforts for your small business may seem like a giant leap into the unknown. Venturing into this murky, smoky sort of space that doesn’t have any boundaries or rules (or least rules you know about) and certainly nothing you’ve ever done before can be scary.
You probably think that all the big companies have this social media thing down pat, make no mistakes, and have junior executives holding laundry baskets to catch all the money their efforts are generating.
Make the sound of a buzzer in your head because I don’t know how to spell it.
Just for a bit of fun and to show you that even having a dedicated social media staff filled with knife-sharp professionals doesn’t exclude dumb mistakes. And some of these mistakes are pretty epic so if you take one thing away from them let it be relief that your mistakes won’t be global.
Netflix and @Qwikster
If you’re going to really upset your customer base by jacking up prices (even though it was probably justified) you don’t follow it by splitting your services and then giving one of them a name that sounds like about nine other things including a rabbit that sells chocolate milk. You especially want to make sure the Twitter handle doesn’t already belong to some stoner dude just waiting to eat Cheetos and Tweet about your mistake. Netflix lost almost a million customers even after they killed Qwikster.
Ragu Makes Dads Mad:
Ragu has been around forever. So naturally when it’s time to bring your brand into the social media age you work very hard to tick off half the population of planet Earth. The social media Einsteins at Unilever, it’s parent company, created a series of videos of moms bagging on their husbands ineptitude in the kitchen and whether it’s true or not it caused a huge wave of indignant daddy bloggers (didn’t know there were any) who wrote, tweeted and generally put their hands on their hips for hating on the menfolk. Speaking as a woman who’s constantly irritate by commercials for cleaning products that only feature women they should just shut their pieholes.
@whatstrending: “Steve Jobs Is Dead”
Remember back when I told you not to hand your social media reigns over to the kids? Here’s one reason why. Although he is dead now, back in September of 2011 a webshow called “What’s Trending?”, affiliated with CBS, tweeted that Jobs had indeed, shuffled off his mortal coil, only to recall the Tweet minutes later. Minutes later is equal to five days in 1990s time and of course it got out there. CBS immediately pointed the finger at the host who pointed her finger at a junior staffer who, sadly, could point to no one but the coffee cart guy who was 89.
Chrysler disses Detroit:
“I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to f*****g drive.”
So tweeted Chrysler. The car maker. From Detroit. Their social media handlers mixed up personal and professional accounts in May 2011 and the tweeter is now securing wolves for Sarah Palin to shoot at from her helicopter.
And lastly while a natural disaster isn’t funny it can be a lesson in how to be a dumbass.
KFC Gets Fried:
KFC, you know, the company who actually made us forget that their name contains the word “fried”, didn’t carry over their marketing genius to Thailand. Immediately after an earthquake whomever was manning its Facebook page posted this: “People should hurry home this evening to monitor the earthquake situation and don’t forget to order the KFC menu, which will be delivered direct to your hands,” Unless you don’t have a home anymore in which case you won’t have an address for the KFC guy to find you.
So you see, even ginornous corporations can botch social media from time to time, everyone makes mistakes. But this shouldn’t keep you from establishing a firm web presence; it simply makes good business these days. These silly examples are just to show that most mistakes can be overcome. You may never have even heard of all of them.
If you don’t feel like sailing uncharted waters alone just call Turn The Page Online Marketing. We can get you up to speed with training from our social media mavens or we can take on your web development and social media marketing ourselves and bring a whole new customer base to your door.