Using social media as part of your communication strategy can be really useful. When done correctly SM marketing can single-handedly improve your brand’s visibility and bring you a lot of new customers.
However, social media is as powerful as it is dangerous. Over the years we’ve seen how a small mistake could cost a company millions of dollars and ruin years of hard work spent in brand building.
Here are some of the most unfortunate social media mistakes made by well-known brands and how to avoid them:
Educate Yourself About The Topic You Try To Cover
DiGorno is one of the biggest pizza chains in the US and the reason why they’re so big in such a competitive market is that they know their pizza. They obviously didn’t know as much about social media though.
#WhyIStayed was a hashtag used across different social media platforms by home violence victims to share their experiences. DiGorno tried to jump on the bandwagon. They obviously didn’t do their homework and the strategy ended up backfiring.
Lesson: Do your research and make sure that you’re understanding what the conversation in social media is about. Once you are certain you know what’s going on, ask yourself if it would be appropriate for your business to join the conversation or not.
Someone Will Always Correct You
You just can’t be wrong about something on social media, especially when you’re trying to reach a wide audience. Look at what happened to Delta Air Lines when they tried to show their support for the US national soccer team during the World Cup.
This is the example of an average looking tweet. It includes a couple of profiles with tons of followers, some hashtags, a link to a picture related to the tweet and voila … You get 628 re-tweets in a matter of seconds.
And yes, Delta Air got a lot of re-tweets, but for the wrong reasons. There are no giraffes in Ghana and people were ready to let them know that.
Lesson: Check and double check your information before making your posts public, there will always be someone ready to point your mistake out.
Don’t Force Engagement With Every Opportunity
In general social engagement will lead to better conversion rates. However, not every situation or opportunity is suitable to promote your brand.
Papa John’s Pizza learnt that lesson the hard way. Their goal was to raise$50k to help those children that The Salvation Army has under their care in the US.
Starving children is a serious matter and shouldn’t be used to promote a business. The managers and marketers of Papa John’s Pizza probably had good intentions, but trying to take advantage of a situation like this is something that will do you more harm than good.
Lesson: If you care about a social issue and want to help as a brand then do, but don’t try to get likes, shares or comments as a condition to contribute to the matter. People may see it as a way to promote your brand through a tragedy, and the vast majority of them won’t approve of it.
If you create content on different social networks and platforms, it might be complicated sometimes to keep track of everything you publish.
A platform like 3d Issue Hubs that lets you organize and publish all your content in just one place, will guarantee you not only that your platform will be mobile friendly but also that you are aware of all the content you’ve published so unlike the brands we’ve talked about today, you don’t make any social media mistakes.