Fourteen Social Media Disasters: Learning from the mistakes of others

Social media can work wonders for your brand, but it can also spell disaster.   A colleague recently asked me for a list of examples of where the wrong post or tweet has damaged a brand’s reputation.  I had a few examples on the top of my head, but thought I would do some extra research on the side to see what else I could find.

After some research, I produced a deck titled “Social Media 101: Social Media Disasters”.  I’ve loaded the deck to Slideshare and have embedded it here:

Examples of bad social media can be tracked back to a focus on social media governance by companies. 

  • Lack of real-time monitoring
  • Not responding to customer concerns
  • Lack of corporate social media policies
  • Employees not trained in company policies
  • Lack of professional Social Media managers
  • Too much focus on self-promotion (lack of relationship building)
  • Lack of due diligence before launching social campaigns

We can all learn from these mistakes.

  • Having a social media presence that represents your brand means responding quickly and directly.
  • You need to plan for the worst while expecting the best.
  • A professional and responsible manager should be in charge of all communication on the various sites and this person should be very well versed on the many risks of social media.
  • All employees are potential spokesmen for your brand. They (including executives) should be trained in the basics of good and bad social media communications.

There is a risk to participating in social media, just like there is a risk with any other channel or method used for external communications.  Smart companies acknowledge that risk, but have focused on limiting that risk by hiring professional social media managers on staff, putting in place proper social media guidelines, and ensuring that employee and management alike are trained in how to best represent the brand when participating in social media.

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