The Worst Social Media Screw-Ups of 2012

It’s easy to feel for brands in social media. On the one hand, they’re told to “act human.” Then, like all humans, they screw up — and people jump all over them.

There were a couple of situations that come to mind this year as real fails from a social media standpoint. These screw-ups may seem small, but they embarrass the brand and then live on the Internet forever, just waiting around for a journalist like me to shine light on them, over and over again. Digiday combed through them and found the top five we’d never want to happen to us.

1. McDonald’s
In January, McDonald’s rolled out a campaign that centered on the #McDStories hashtag. The brand was asking people to share their favorite McDonald’s memories on Twitter. But the hashtag was more of bashtag. Twitter users shared stories like, “The last time I ate a McFish I vomited for an hour.”

Image via Twitter 

2. American Apparel
American Apparel had an ad for a clothing sale, which it promoted via social media and through an email blast. It offered 20 percent off to customers “bored during the storm.” Consumers went nuts and aired their emotions on Twitter.

Image via Mashable 

3. British Airways
British Airways retweeted a racist message that Twitter user Gordon Qiu made to vent his frustration over the cancellation of his flight. His Twitter account is protected, so we can’t get the actual tweet. But Qiu was having a conversation with a friend on Twitter regarding the cancelled flight and wrote, “Go back to your f…ing country you gook.” After retweeting, British Airways apologized for the mistake.

Image via Olery 

4. Chrysler
Chrysler is super proud of its Detroit heritage. In fact, it’s 2012 Super Bowl commercial was all about Detroit. Then, in April, the car maker posted the following tweet on Twitter.

mage via Jalopnik

The tweet was later deleted and Chrysler apologized.

5. Kenneth Cole
Kenneth Cole, the chairman of the brand Kenneth Cole, often tweets using the company’s official Twitter account and did so right after the protests erupted in Egypt.

Image via CNN

About two hours later, Cole apologized, but this is still a really insensitive post and should not have been tweeted to begin with.

Main Image via Shutterstock

More in Marketing

What TikTok’s e-commerce launch could mean for marketers and content creators

TikTok has officially launched its new e-commerce platform, TikTok Shop, earlier this month on August 1. Using the new e-commerce platform, brands and creators can sell products directly on the platform, potentially creating new revenue streams, and tap into the short-form video platform’s growing popularity.

‘The influencer industry can be really vile’: Confessions of an influencer marketer on the industry’s unfair hiring practices

While the influencer industry might sound exciting and like it’s full of opportunities, one marketer can vouch for the horrific scenarios that still take place behind the scenes.

Digiday+ Research: Marketers said revenue grew in the last year, with more growth expected ahead

After a tumultuous 12 months, marketers are getting a clear picture of how they really did during a time of true uncertainty. And, as it turns out, it wasn’t all that bad.