The biggest social media blunders of 2013 so far…

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By Danielle Wynne

Over half way through the year and we’ve had plenty of opportunities to add to the long list of ‘how not to do social’ and have been in genuine disbelief that some people are still getting it so wrong. Here are our favourites so far.

Tesco’s badly timed Twitter sign off

Tesco was the main brand embroiled in ‘the horsemeat scandal’ at the beginning of the year. They then proceeded to cause more offense with a poor choice of wording in a Twitter sign off:

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(Picture from futurecomms.co.uk)

They quickly apologized, stating that the tweet was scheduled in and not intended to make light of the situation – big lesson here, double check your scheduling if your hit by a nationwide scandal.

HMV forget to take the reins from their Community Manager

This rebellion caused quite a stir and went viral in next to no time – don’t fire a riled up community manager without getting your log in information first.

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(picture courtesy of Marketing Week as it disappeared pretty sharpish.)

The Home Office just doesn’t get it…

One of The Home Office’s more recent tweets flared tempers with it’s weirdly threatening message and, many thought, tasteless picture to accompany it. Oddly enough, they didn’t remove it even though most of the retweets are accompanied by an angry message berating the seemingly flippant attitude towards such a sensitive issue– perhaps because it didn’t quite reach the levels of virality it could have?

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Amy’s Baking Company go into a very public meltdown

Possibly the weirdest disaster from this year was the very public breakdown of Amy’s Baking Company – a restaurant featured on the American version of Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares earlier this year. The programme didn’t show owners, Amy and Samy, in a very positive light and after the episode aired Reddit and Yelp users let their feelings be known, and they weren’t that positive to say the least. Threads were taken down after claims they had turned into a ‘witch hunt’ – so the comments started coming in on the Amy’s Baking Company’s Facebook page instead.  Posts, seemingly from the company themselves, started rolling out with claims that the couple will ‘take a stand’ against negative comments. But the posts became increasingly hostile, swearing and telling users to ‘bring it on’. The long stream of rants were then deleted and this post appeared:

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Over 26,000 replies were posted within a week and needless to say those posts also went viral, accompanied by several parody accounts.

Friends Reunited sparks outrage in the midst of the Woolwich tragedy

In the midst of the panic and news spreading online during the Woolwich, shooting Friends Reunited posted this baffling tweet:

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(photo from The Drum)

This was posted before any information had been confirmed which is less outrageous, but even joking in the light of the rumours was still in bad taste, to say the least.

Walmart’s very angry Facebook update

Walmart’s very angry and capitalized Facebook update was visible for around 5 minutes one Sunday afternoon, but that doesn’t mean that wasn’t long enough for someone to screen shot it. It is most community manager’s worst nightmare to post from the wrong account and as a genuine accident rather than very, very bad judgement is a little more forgiven…

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(Photos courtesy of Nick Cicero)

David Cameron doesn’t double check before he tweets…

A massive mistake to make – not ensuring your links and mentions actually lead somewhere! Cameron accidently @ mentioned a parody account of MP Iain Duncan Smith. Strangely enough, this hasn’t been removed either…

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And the parody account found it fitting to reply…

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Cineworld throws away the rulebook

Many don’t see this as an out and out disaster, merely a brand standing it’s ground for once, but it caused quite a stir nevertheless…

It started when a user posted this to the Cineworld Twitter:

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Instead of the usual cut and paste apologies, the Cineworld community manager stood their ground in the defense of a free market and embarked on a long, drawn out debate. Well, quite a one-sided debate as Cineworld was obviously bored and let everyone know by continuously trying to end it. The user turned out to be very persistent and Cineworld took a tone that you don’t normally see in customer service full stop – let alone a visible platform.

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But the gamble apparently paid off as the posts went viral and started a debate about the approach the brand took – with the split being fairly even of those that thought it was outright wrong, those that thought the stance was right but the tone of the interaction wrong and some thought the brand did well to hold it’s ground. There are quite a few gems from the conversation it’s hard to highlight the ones that demonstrate the best…

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This post was written by Danielle Wynne

As engagement manager, Danielle's role is key to helping ensure client's communities and campaigns thrive.


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