Top 9 Social Media Fails
and How to Avoid Making Them


You’re all over the place, posting, sharing, tweeting. Feeling good, looking good. Until you post something about your evening plans: to pop some corn then #NetflixAndChill. Not looking so good anymore.

#NetflixAndChill. Think you know what it means?

You might be surprised to learn that it does NOT mean to watch a program on Netflix while chilling. Remember what people used to do when they went to a drive-in or sat in the back row of the movie house? Ah, now you get it: Netflix and chill.

This one repeatedly surfaces, so we’ll give you three irresistible mentions:

Binghamton Mets



The [Love] Connection Church



The Dallas Morning News (who you’d think would do its due diligence before tweeting!)



And Shelby, obviously in the know, just made us laugh



#nowthatcherisdead – First Tweeted in Britain to commemorate Margaret Thatcher’s passing, we in America mistakenly believed we’d lost our pop icon Cher.


Then there’s the DiGiorno mishap, in which a domestic violence hashtag was used to sell pizzas. Inexcusable.


After the Boston Marathon tragedy, Epicurious tweeted its condolences with friendly food pairings:



Bic’s #HappyWomen’sDay Facebook campaign stunned women around the world with their chauvinistic take on a holiday just for them.



Don’t be like Sephora and forget to proofread, or you may end up offending virtually [ahem] everyone in cyberspace: #C*ntDownToBeauty.



#AskJPM turned what was to be a promotional Q&A event for JP Morgan into an unintentional negativity campaign eventually captured on video by CNBC, a comedy piece for award-winning actor Stacy Keach.


Think a comment in offensive taste won’t matter because you only have a few followers? Think again. Learn from Justine Sacco’s mistake. What started out with a few retweets quickly snowballed into thousands, then grew an outshoot #HasJustineLandedYet. Read the article. You’ll get it.



But if there’s one bad-social-media-decision-maker that takes the cake (pardon the pun), it has to be Amy’s Baking Company, whose inappropriate responses to consumers across every platform on which it maintained a presence, provides a no-brainer What Not To Do in Social Media (and Life) List.

amys1 amys2 amys3 amys4

Lessons learned:

  • If you have any doubt of what a hashtag means, look it up or don’t use it!
  • If there is potential for confusion in your hashtag, capitalize each word. Doing so can also help you avoid misspellings.
  • Just because it’s trending doesn’t mean it’s appropriate for use in your context. Think before you Tweet.
  • Check your spelling.
  • Don’t create a Q&A hashtag unless your company is above reproach. Even then, be ready for some trolling.
  • Don’t post something you don’t want the world to read.
  • When responding to comments, live by the 3C’s: calm, cool and collected. Fight the urge to fight fire with more words. You’ll only hurt yourself and your business.

What mistakes have you made? Do share!

Images: RedBubbleFacebook, Twitter, Entrepreneur, BBC News, Forbes, Huffington Post, YouTube, and Praxis Interactive.

Rachel Norrod

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