Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Using Social Media The Wrong Way In Business

Learn from past mistakes of companies whose use of social media backfired. Learn from their mistakes to ensure your company has a successful media presence.

The Right Amount Of Social Media For Your Business

Social media is the leading form of advertisements and growth in sales today and is a great way to stay in connection with customers. Every bit of honest feedback is a chance to improve your products and the way you deal with customers.

If we look back on the last 10 or so years, there have been a lot of successful social media marketing, but more notably, there have been some spectacular failures. Instead of telling you how best to advertise your brand on special media, this is a cautionary tale of what your brand should not be doing on social media. Every brand is trying to create its own unique identity, so no one marketing strategy will fit all. Just avoid these mistakes to stay out of the bad side of social media.

Tragedy Is Not Marketing

On the 27th of December 2017 the world lost one of its best actors and an amazing person, Carrie Fisher. Carrie was a hero to a lot of children, who have now grown up to have a certain love and respect for Carrie as one of the best actors of the generation. On the following day, the out pour on Twitter was huge, with friends and fans paying respect to the lost legend.

Cue Cinnabon, who posted a photo depicting a caricature of Carrie where her famous Princess Leia hair buns were depicted as cinnamon buns. Below the picture was a reference to Carrie's hair, and indeed the cinnamon buns, being the best in the galaxy.

Needless to say, the users of twitter collectively lost it at a brand trying to leverage the death of an icon for a marketing opportunity. Whether it was a sincere out-reach or a marketing attempt gone wrong, we will never know. What we do know is that Cinnabon lost a lot of loyal customers with this single, incredibly insensitive tweet.

Giving Users Power

Social media polls are great for collecting feedback on important or maybe less important topics or products. Polls are considered to be a great way to drive brand engagement, while also give the customers the opportunity to have their own say. Obviously, this can only go well, right?

May 2010 saw a poll being put up by Justin Biebers marketing team, in which fans would vote on an additional country to be added to his then “my world” world tour. There were no restrictions, and a vote could be cast for any legitimate country in the world. It took about a month for information about the poll to reach 4chan, where the 4chan users devised a scheme which was named “Project North Korea Is Best Korea”.

What ensued was a landslide victory like you can claim at for Justin Bieber to add North Korea to his world tour. The marketing team involved soon after released a statement saying that it was “not a legitimate contest” confirming that the pop star would not be going to North Korea. There is no saying for sure, but the marketing team responsible for this contest likely didn't remain Justin Bieber’s marketing team for very long.

Next time you plan on having a vote of any kind on social media, remember this poll and limit the power you give to people over your brand on social media.