5 social media mistakes you want to avoid

by Alexis Serneels

You or your company may not be entirely comfortable with social network habits and customs. Many well-know business experienced the storm that can come out of what may seem an harmless tweet at first. Here are five highlights taken from real companies' social network mistakes, compiled in our five social media fails you never want to reproduce.

1. Referring to a tragic event

Even if your intentions are good or willing to make a tribute, trying to associate your brand to a tragic event is always a delicate thing to do. Some well-known companies learned that the hard way. Linking a commercial activity to a tragedy will often be seen as an attempt to make money or gain popularity on the back of people.

Here is here first example:

...and inform you on a photo you try to make fun of.

And a second one from AT&T:

AT&T paying hommage to 9/11 victims

2.  Writing lighty about serious subject

For the anniversary of Rosa Parks' death, the American Republican National Committee tweeted that racism was over  which created a wave of mocking and upset tweets. Although the correction have come quickly, Twitter already had time to make a lot of noise around this unfortunate wording mistake.

racism is over

3. Using crude and/or offensive wordsThis one seems quite logical but sometimes when you try to be satyrical and make fun of a situation, you may go a little too far from what you should have.  Just like The Onion did during the Oscars' 2013 ceremony about the 9-year-old actress Quvenzhane Wallis.


4. Using automated tweets reply

Automated tweets can be really helpful for big companies, especially when they have a lot of followers. But these kind of replies can really turn against you if you don't keep an eye on it. Your audience will realize that all the attention they got came from a machine.Your should definitely schedule your tweets instead of using automation. Social media are about creating a deeper link between you and your audience.

5. Trying to hide your mistake.

And if it's already too late, the worst thing you can do is to try hiding the mistake you just made. What happens on Internet, stays on the internet...forever. You can delete a tweet or a facebook post but the world will never forget. There will always be someone which will have done a printscreen of your communication failure.

All the examples above are proving this pretty good. Instead, face your mistake, apology and make sure this will never happen again.That list of mistakes could be longer, but we think you got the point. Social media are not to be taken lightly. There are a powerful communication tools that can allow you to create a real relationship with your audience. Don't choose facility over efficiency, pay attention to what people say about you and answer them personally, will all your love.You've got another story to share with us?

Tweet us the best fails you've seen across the web at @applivetweet