You know that guy in the office who has no filter? The one who always leaves you cringing, or fighting back laughter, or both?
Twitter, Facebook and other social media channels seems to bring out that guy in all of us. I’m not just talking about US Representative Anthony Weiner, who recently got himself in hot water after sending a lewd self-portrait to a Twitter follower. I’m talking about the countless businesses, big and small, that have—intentionally or not—alienated fans with their bad tweets.
I admit: I have a deep fondness for these tweets. Each one is a tragicomedy starring disgruntled interns and off-color humor, an allegory about the repercussions of a confessional era. And it all happens in 140 characters or less.
Let’s start with Samsung, who copyranter titled “Twitter Idiot of the Week:”
Now, I’m not saying honesty has no place in marketing. But this tweet is a little too honest. Ten percent unemployment rate? Pshaw! A little retail therapy will make you feel better! And if you don’t have $200 to drop on a new Samsung camera, don’t worry—there’s always credit.
Then there’s Chrysler’s tweet, which showed up shortly after their Superbowl ads featuring Eminem:
This tweet was made by the employee of a social media marketing firm working on behalf of Chrysler, who thought he was tweeting from his personal Twitter account. The employee and the social media company both got the axe.
What’s more damaging than an unintentional tweet from a disgruntled employee? An intentional tweet from a disgruntled employee. Take these famous last words from a Marc Jacobs intern:
The tweets were later deleted. Marc Jacobs issued a public apology with a warning to be careful with your passwords. Perhaps he should also be careful about how he treats interns.
Speaking of fashion, who can forget Kenneth Cole, who took political unrest in Cairo as an opportunity to promote his spring line?
According to Mashable, “Cole made a similarly indelicate statement in the past; following 9/11, he told the New York Daily News: “Important moments like this are a time to reflect… To remind us, sometimes, that it’s not only important what you wear, but it’s also important to be aware.”
After thousands of followers complained about his Cairo faux pas, Cole deleted the tweet and made an apology on his Facebook page.
For my final example of social media fails, I move to Facebook and 7-11:
“May is Mental Health Month,” the update reads, “or so the SHADOWY CONSPIRATORS WHO CONTROL THE WORLD would have you believe…”
Personally, I thought this post was hysterical. But many didn’t agree with me, and criticized 7-Eleven for being unsupportive of mental health issues. (Not to mention irrelevant—what does mental health month have to do with slurpies and microwaved burritos?)
What are some of your favorite Twitter fails?
Top image courtesy of jisc.ac.uk and used under a Creative Commons license.