Social media is incredibly powerful – it can keep us all in contact with friends and family, market our books and lose us great opportunities. Yes that is right you read the last part correctly. Social media can be as much a pain as a gain. Here are six social media blunders that have cost people dearly and what we can learn from them.
Connor Riley had a job offer from Cisco when she tweeted – “Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work.”
Shortly afterwards Cisco employee gave a tweet back - “Who is the hiring manager? I’m sure they would love to know that you will hate the work. We here at Cisco are versed in the Web.”
But if that wasn’t enough, she was soon the target of several internet trolls that called her names that would upset even the thickest skinned of us. It is likely it will be a long time before the “fatty Cisco” incident is forgotten forever.
Lesson learned: If want to say anything that could be construed as negative, use privacy functions that limit who see it – or better keep it to yourself and don’t say it at all.
You can’t control hastags and if we have learnt anything with social media is that people who really want to promote negative aspects of your brand - will. With McDonalds they wanted people to share their positive experiences in their restaurants – however consumers quickly did the exact opposite.
Lesson learned: Use hashtags that can’t be turned into negative aspects about you.
Waitress Ashley Johnson decided to take her frustration out on Facebook after she didn’t receive the tip she expected from two customers. She took the extraordinary step of mentioning the restaurant by name. Unfortunately her bosses discovered the update and she was sacked for “speaking disparagingly about customers and casting the restaurant in a bad light on a social network.”
Lesson learned: Be careful what you say about customers online. You never know who is reading.
Teacher Ashley Payne was forced to resign after she posted a photo online of her out drinking. Someone obviously took offense to the message as the head of her school was e-mailed with a copy of the photo.
Lesson learned: If you are in a public facing position (even if you don’t realize / advertise it) keep your social media profiles professional. If something is deemed unsuitable for your main audience someone will let you know one way or another.
Read the exchange and you’ll see why it was a blunder.
Lesson learned: Where to start? I think the important points to take away are remember who you add onto Facebook, don’t write negative comments and be honest.
Back in 2009 Habitat sent out a number of tweets that contained popular and trending hashtags that had limited if anything to do with the message. The crisis exploded later on when they took advantage of events happening in Iran at the time. Habitat later apologized and stated the hashtags were not authorised.
Lesson learned: Use meaningful related hashtags not just any that are trending.
I hope you have found this article useful. If you have any more examples please let us know in the comments below.