Social media can be a bit intimidating. Full of bright young Millennials on their Snapchats and Hypes. But it is, at its core, very simple. It’s humans connecting with humans. To do it right you need to understand your audience and be authentic and helpful. Deviate from these guiding principles and it can go horribly wrong.
So, here’s what NOT to do as some of these businesses found out the hard way…
1. Hop on a popular (but irrelevant to your brand) hashtag
McDonalds (who aren’t Australian) ran a campaign around Australia Day. It asked its customers to turn their hamburgers upside down, take a picture of themselves eating one and then share these images with the very long hashtag #DownUnderBigMac
On the big day, the hashtag was used just six times (four times on Twitter and twice on Instagram).
3. Get your facts wrong
In a New Year’s message on the most popular Russian social media network, VK, Coca-Cola published a map of Russia that did not include Crimea.
4. Check what your post looks like after posting them
This can lead to unfortunate mistakes. Preview is your friend.
6. Use the death of a celebrity to sell your product
These are a few examples from the day that news broke of David Bowie’s tragic death.
Anyone for a doughnut?
7. Use a still-evolving news event to raise brand awareness
The Tweeter, in this case, didn’t know the extent of the tragedy at Alton Towers and that people had been seriously hurt, but therein lies the lesson. Don’t piggyback on a news event until you know how it ends. And, perhaps show a bit more compassion.
9. Tweet a personal tweet from your business account
This error was made by the social media executive running the Justice Department’s Twitter feed.