Creating quality social media content is hard. Not sending out reprehensible, regrettable posts that will get you ridiculed, and possibly fired if you’re working for a company, is easy.
As with anything involving writing, proofreading is your best friend. Considering all the writing you’ve done, going over and double-checking everything you just wrote isn’t only essential, it’s a testament to how committed you are to perfecting your craft and ensuring the product you’ve created is quality.
Plus, you’ll be able to avoid the mistakes these 5 people and companies did, which will incessantly haunt their internet existence.
Because the internet is forever.
1. Welcome back, Paula Deen!
Either Paul Deen has the worst PR team in the existence of public relations, or she chooses to go over what her PR team says and does it anyway. The TV chef who became infamous for racist activities that took place at her restaurant a year ago is back in the news for something that was even more oblivious and offensive than before.
It’s become pretty well-known that painting your face black or brown to resemble someone of that color is in poor taste, but nobody passed that along to Deen, who thought it in good taste to put her son in brownface and then post it on Twitter, a well-known haven for social justice.
The tweet was deleted, but not soon enough as damage control is currently being undertaken.
UPDATE: As I was writing this, the social media manager was fired. You know, because they were obviously the problem in this scenario.
2. American Apparel Doesn’t Understand Smoke Signals
That’s weird. Why is it when I look at this picture I can feel my childhood dying a second time?
That’s because it is the aftermath of the explosion of the Challenger, which claimed the lives of 7, including a teacher whose ascension into space was broadcasted for schools across the country to see.
American Apparel’s community manager was not aware of the Challenger aftermath pictures. Which is why they decided to use what appeared to be an artsy, aesthetically-pleasing firework actually turned out to be one of the most devastating aeronautic disasters of all time.
I’m not sure how this picture was chosen over so many usable pictures of fireworks, but that’s the price of not doing your research and double-checking that the picture you’re about to broadcast to millions of people won’t evoke memories of a dark day.
3. ESPN Analyst has his mind on other things
Is it that difficult to control your primal urges for a moment? Is there no way to properly multitask between analyzing college football recruits and looking at porn on your phone?
In the case of ESPN recruiting analyst Gerry Hamilton, and a few others, the answer is no as Hamilton accidentally tweeted out copy of a recruit before concluding with a link to a PornHub site, as opposed to the college football site he meant to send his followers to.
As is the case of many of these fails, all Gerry had to do was to double check what he was posting. Judging by what he was actually looking at, however, he appeared to be too busy.
4. Best Buy jokes around with murder
You know what really gets me fired up in the mood for buying overpriced electronics that will be outdated the second I buy it?
Well, at least that’s what BestBuy’s community manager thought when they sent out an ill-advised tweet alluding to a murder that may have had some relation to their store. Here’s the controversial tweet:
Seems innocent, right? You’ll change your mind once you realize the context of this tweet, which is a crime-based TV show based on a real-life killer. The payphone they’re referring to? According to the story, after the killer the show focuses on murders his girlfriend, he then goes to a local BestBuy to use their payphone, so that he may call his friend for a ride.
Look, it’s creative to incorporate pop culture into your social media contact. In fact, we encourage it. But when it comes down to a show about a grisly murder, it might be best to let the mention of your brand go without having to bring it up on social media.
5. Union Street Guest House Doesn’t Understand the Internet
Union Street Guest House would like to offer you a foolproof way to alienate potential buyers and paint your brand in an extremely negative light.
STEP 1: Write this statement on your company page
“If your guests are looking for a Marriott type hotel they may not like it here. Therefore: If you have booked the Inn for a wedding or other type of event anywhere in the region and given us a deposit of any kind for guests to stay at USGH there will be a $500 fine that will be deducted from your deposit for every negative review of USGH placed on any internet site by anyone in your party and/or attending your wedding or event”
STEP 2: Do nothing because you are stupid and don’t know how the internet works
You read that correctly. The New York-based hotel created a policy for wedding guests that they would be fined $500 if they left a negative review about the hotel on Yelp!, the insanely popular social media site that has become renowned and depended on for tips on the best places in a specific area.
Union Street Guest House clearly wasn’t too keen on how to react to negativity. Where most companies would do everything in its power to find out what went wrong and attempt to mend the bridge between them and the disappointed consumer, Union Street decides to double-down on completely severing ties.
In case you want to see why this policy was put in place, we suggest you saunter on over to their Yelp! page, which is littered with negative reviews that are actually about the hotel itself and not the policy.
The lesson here is not to punish your customers for leaving negative reviews, it’s to look at yourself, as well as those multiple negative reviews, and find out how to improve your business.