Revolutionary Measures

Social Media – what’s the worst that can happen?

12-ounce Dr Pepper can sporting the new logo
Image via Wikipedia

It’s the time of year for the publication of Top 10 lists – from the worst gadgets of 2010 (though not sure that Google Wave should technically count), through Top 10 Tweets, to my own personal favourite Top 10 Weirdest New Animals of 2010.

Leafing through Marketing Magazine’s Top 10 Marketing Mishaps it is obvious that for certain marketers 2010 has been a year to forget. ITV switching to an advert when England scored one of their all too rare World Cup goals, Eurostar’s inability to communicate when its trains were stuck in the Channel Tunnel and MAC’s idea to base a new cosmetics collection on a town in Mexico famous for high rates of female murder all stand out in the hall of shame.

What struck me though was the growing number of social media faux pas – from Nestle pressuring YouTube to remove a Greenpeace ad that criticised its sourcing of palm oil – and then heavy-handedly policing its Facebook page, to Dr Pepper’s inappropriate takeover of Facebook status updates. There were plenty more that didn’t make the top 10, such as homophobic tweets from Vodafone amongst others.

And pretty much all of these cock-ups came about from not understanding social media and the consequences of wading in and getting involved without thinking things through. Despite what expensive social media consultants may tell you, a lot of these crises could have been averted with a bit of common sense and planning. Time for marketing departments to put ‘Create social media guidelines and crisis management plans’ at number one on their list of New Year’s resolutions.

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December 14, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment