I know these posts popup all the time but so far this year there have been some monumental cock ups on the part of big business on Twitter. And well, I couldn’t resist highlighting their mistakes and rubbing a little more salt in their mental wounds.
So, if you’re in the market for some juicy marketing mishaps on Twitter, 2017 will be a fine year for you. This post is going to run through some of the best (or worst, actually) Twitter marketing disasters of 2017 so far.
McDonald’s are Not Lovin’ Trump
In early March of this year, fast food giant McDonald’s official Twitter account posted a pretty damning tweet that attacked the President of the United States, Donald Trump. The tweet called the controversial President, ‘a disgusting excuse of a President’, and also made mention of his, ‘tiny hands’. What’s more, this was more that just a standard tweet – McDonald’s official Twitter account pinned this to the top of their profile, for the whole world to see.
The tweet obviously created a lot of buzz, both positive and negative. Trump supporters were outraged and began a #BoycottMcDonalds campaign on Twitter. Other users found the tweet very entertaining, but it was ultimately removed by McDonald’s, who claimed their account had been hacked. If there is a lesson to take out of this for your own brand, it is this – keep your account secure at all times!
Trump Needs Spellcheck
While we’re on the subject of Donald Trump, we should really look at how he handles his Twitter feed. For starters, the 45th US President is constantly tweeting, from the crack of dawn until the early hours of the morning. Unfortunately, his love for Twitter has left us with a very unfiltered Donald Trump. Although very entertaining, it has also very troubling for the Trump brand, which has taken quite the bashing as a result. A great example of Trump stumbling through his tweets can be found from his very first day in office.
Spelling errors do not make for a very good start when it comes to looking professional online, even for the most influential president in the western world. Trump is a bit of an oddity, though, and he almost seems to revel in his ignorance towards spelling mistakes. A quick scroll through his Twitter feed is a goldmine for spelling errors and poorly constructed tweets. In this case, though, he quickly deleted his tweet to cover his tracks. He does need to be careful though – deleting his own tweets might actually violate the Presidential Records Act.
Try your best to avoid these kinds of spelling errors in your own tweets because they can make your brand look unprofessional which can turn off a lot of your audience. Always try to maintain a look of professionalism with well written and structured tweets.
Adidas and the Boston Marathon
Adidas are one of the biggest brands in sportswear, so it might not be too surprising that they would create an online marketing campaign for the 2017 Boston Marathon. However, what may surprise you is their choice of humour when they sent emails to participants of the marathon with a pretty harsh subject: ‘Congrats, you survived the Boston Marathon.’
To add a little bit of context to this message, in 2013 the Boston Marathon was targeted in a horrific bombing attack that claimed the lives of three people, and injured 260 bystanders. The joke was definitely in poor taste, and Adidas issued an official apology through Twitter. It goes to show that even the biggest brands can make some huge mistakes online, even today.
Not truly a disaster on Twitter, but the public outcry took place on Twitter. That’s why brands need to consider the reactions of the public when putting a marketing campaign live as there’s one place people will go to publicly vent, and that’s Twitter.
Uber, NY Taxis and the Muslim Travel Ban
The start of 2017 saw US President Donald Trump impose a travel ban on a handful of Muslim countries. This caused absolute chaos at airports across the country, with innocent passengers being detained if they were from one of these countries. To protest what many felt was a racist and unethical ban, the New York Taxi Workers Alliance decided to avoid JFK Airport for one hour. When the strike was announced, though, competitor Uber announced that they would be turning off surge pricing for all fares going to JFK Airport – essentially cutting prices. This spat in the face of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, as well as the people being illegally detained at the time.
As a result of Uber’s move, many customers that opposed the Muslim ban feverishly deleted Uber and boycotted their services. Uber tried to backtrack on what was a dirty tactic, but for many users the damage was already done.
So What can you Learn?
Although it is great fun to look at the horrific mistakes that some of the biggest brands in the world have made on Twitter, they are also very useful learning tools if you use social media for business. Learn from others mistakes, so that you do not have to learn them the hard way.
2017 has already been fantastic for marketing disasters on Twitter, and we’re not even halfway there yet! So you can safely expect a few more blunders online before the year is up, just keep your eyes peeled.