No company is perfect, but when there are millions of people watching, making a mistake could seriously hurt your brand. For outsiders, these blunders can be great learning opportunities of what not to do.
We asked eight entrepreneurs from the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) which big brands made a major faux pas this year, and what we can learn from it. Their best answers are below.
Delta Airlines sent out a tweet during the U.S. vs. Ghana soccer match during the World Cup, featuring an image of the Statue of Liberty to represent America and a giraffe to represent Ghana. However, unfortunately for Delta, that country doesn’t have giraffes. The company was widely criticized for the error. Do your research before sending out social media updates to ensure your content is accurate.
Facebook changes their default privacy settings often. Most users won’t stop using the platform because of the changes. What enrages people is not knowing of those changes. The Facebook app allowing phone camera access without the users consent was a major faux pas. If they’d just communicated and disclosed better, the ripple would have been like a penny in the ocean versus the hurricane it was.
– Joshua Lee, StandOut Authority
DiGiorno Pizza followed the hashtag trend #WhyIStayed without knowing the reason it was trending: a domestic violence awareness campaign. We can all avoid the same mistake by favoring research over impulse.
According to U.S. Airways, this NSFW mistake happened when an employee tried to flag a graphic image and the photo URL was inadvertently copied into another tweet sent to a disgruntled customer. The tweet was captured and shared even after deletion. Yikes! The major lesson here is that it always pays to proofread your brand’s tweets and double-check your links before tweeting!
Apple posted praise for the iPhone 6 from Joan Rivers shortly after her death. By remembering to keep an eye on scheduled posts, this could be avoided. Though there are great tools out there that make our lives easier, we need to constantly remember to monitor things instead of letting them go on autopilot.
– Phil Laboon, Eyeflow Internet Marketing
At the World Series MVP Award this year, Chevrolet spokesman Rikk Wilde said the Chevy Colorado “combines class winning and leading, um, you know, technology and stuff.” Chevy embraced the mixup and tweeted an image of the truck accompanied by the words “Ya know … class leading technology and stuff.” Quickly, #technologyandstuff and #chevyguy started trending, giving Chevy great exposure.
It’s easy to lurk on Twitter and monitor what’s trending at any given moment. As business owners, we always want to stay up-to-date and participate in the dialogue. However, when Entenmann’s decided to use the hashtag associated with Casey Anthony’s murder trial to encourage its fans to eat its tasty pastries, the result was cringeworthy and in bad taste. Always do your research!
– Firas Kittaneh, Amerisleep
Airlines face a lot of customer and media scrutiny. After weather caused delays and a flight to Denver to be rerouted mid-flight to land in Wyoming, the pilot took control and ordered enough pizzas to feed the hungry plane. While this didn’t make up for the plane landing five hours later than expected, it did prove that bad situations can be made better if you just put the customer first.
Featured Image: baranq via Shutterstock