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Social media is way through which people interact with each other and create share or exchange ideas and information in virtual communities and networks. It is a wonderful channel to engage with their customers and meet their target tribe.

A brand can go through all good things at one time while exactly the opposite other times. Sometimes they experience large amount of support, loyalty and word of mouth which can lead to increased sales. However things altogether go wrong and creates a negative impact on the brand.

Below given are five examples of some of the worst experiences of social media flops in 2013. They are divided into 4 categories: poor judgment, poor execution, poor luck and poor strategy.

  • Poor judgment

After Boston bombing, epicurious a popular food website tweeted food suggestions for bostians which had very bad taste. The brand had to go into an emergency damage control mode and issued many apologies through social media. However this could have been prevented if good training would have been given to them.

When a traumatic event occurs in a country, the brand should attempt to tie the tragedy to their product in any of the promotional way.

  • Poor execution

Once Michael O’Leary, CEO of Ryanair airlines was appointed to answer questions in a live chat with the public about his airline. This could have been a good strategy, but due to the arrogant nature of the CEO it all went into drain because he did not knew the ramifications of his arrogance when on display in social media. This could have been avoided if the company would have thought before appointing the CEO for live chat even after knowing about his arrogance behavior. This mistake would not have occurred if they had invested hour in an internal dry run of the live chat.

  • Poor luck

In 2013 some brands suffered in social media even when they were at no fault. It was all due to bad luck. Once Burger King’s twitter account was hacked and the hackers were posing as McDonald’s. After an hour the account was suspended. After this incident Burger King gained so much publicity and had about 30,000 followers. Thus instead of a bad image they actually gained sympathy.

  • Poor strategy

Many companies make a good use twitter, Facebook and various other networking site’s chats to engage directly with the customers and reinforce their social business culture. But these powerful tools can also be dangerous if the company doesn’t know the current mood and sentiments of people. Even a good strategy can go into drain if not used properly.


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