Three Social Media Marketing Nightmares for Halloween

Halloween, the date universally associated with fear, terror and men in whitewashed William Shatner masks with serious anger management issues. Since we don’t have any machete-wielding maniacs to worry about (not today, anyway), the closest thing to a nightmare we have here at Duncan/Day is an unfortunate tpyo typo or a varnish that might cause our postage print ink to run.

So in honor of it being Friday the 13th, I thought I’d shed a light on three of the most recent and most terrifying Social Media Marketing Nightmares. 

-Red Cross, February 2011

Uh oh. Upon first glace this might not look much different than the tweets and updates that appear on your personal timeline (note that I said personal). Believe it or not this Twitter update doesn’t really mesh well with @RedCross’ standard updates, normally tweeting health tips and helping followers keep up with current events as they relate to healthcare.

If you’re ever faced with a situation similar to the one Red Cross took on in February 2012, I’d recommend you take note of how they handled it.

The Red Cross employee charged with updating the @RedCross handle quickly deleted the mistaken tweet and provided a quick update of her own – this time from her own personal account, of course. As more and more blogs and news sites jumped on this obvious mistake, Dogfish Brewing Company took advantage of the situation and turned it into a major positive for both companies’ PR departments.

Chrysler, March 2011

Only months after Red Cross’ gaffe was auto manufacturer Chrysler faced with a similar problem. The @ChryslerAutos Twitter account accidentally posted a not-so-savory remark about the people of the company’s hometown, Detroit.

The fallout from Chrysler’s mistake wasn’t nearly as much fun as it was in the case of the Red Cross tweet. Unfortunately, people’s jobs were lost over what’s a completely understandable mistake when balancing numerous handles on programs like HootSuite.

American Airlines, Novemeber 2011

After apparently being tossed from American Airlines flight, actor Alec Baldwin took to Twitter to air his grievances against the Dallas-based airline.

With his 600,000+ followers, @AlecBaldwin presented American Airlines with quite a problem. The 30 Rock star went so far as to start a #TheresAlwaysUnited hashtag. Cold.

The airline originally refused to comment on the matter, citing passenger privacy concerns. However, seemingly pressed by Baldwin’s antics, American eventually issued a response via its Facebook page. The statement defended the employees’ actions and cited them as falling directly in line with the company’s take-off policy and procedure.

Not one to leave without getting the last laugh, Baldwin fired back in his Dec. 12 appearance on Saturday Night Live, issuing a fake apology to himself as “American Airlines Pilot Steve Rogers.”

What are some other social media nightmares brands have seen in recent years? Do you have a personal social media flub to share? Tell us below.

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