Lets face it, there is the one moment that everyone has encountered. Where you have progressed to that stage of friendship with someone where you ask them for their Facebook details so you can make it official.

Then there is that one person. That’s the person who tells you that they don’t actually have Facebook.

What? Why? How do you know who your friends are? How am I going to be able to tag you in the comments of funny dog/cat videos now?

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You look at them stunned in disbelief.

Is Facebook optional now?

These days that person is the outlier. Social media is omnipresent in Australian society today. The mind-blowing stats speak for themselves:

Social media has not just changed the global landscape of interpersonal connection. Now corporations can join in the conversation, giving consumers unprecedented access to the brands they love (or hate). There are obviously many upsides for brands to be engaging personally with their customers, least of which is the ability to find out what and how their customers think. And then there are many risks, such as finding out what customers really think. And of course the obligatory #fail on behalf of the marketing team.

Top Three Social Media #Fails 

1. #YourTaxis Backfire

Lets just say November 2015 was not a great social media month for the Victorian Taxi Association. Someone from the marketing team thought it would be a great idea to start a #YourTaxis hashtag to call for customer feedback and for people to share their (presumably positive) experiences of taking Taxis in Victoria.

Not surprisingly at all (because can you ever really trust Twitter?), the plan backfired with people sharing absolute horror stories of verbal, physical and sexual abuse they have suffered at the hands of Taxi drivers; disgustingly dirty taxis and the classic that most people have encountered – being refused a ride because the fare is too short.

And then it got worse…

The @yourtaxis twitter account thought it would be a great idea to get in on the spirit of Remembrance Day with this stellar tweet:

The tweet (which spelled Remembrance wrong) created even more backlash for the organisation, which then unsurprisingly fired the agency behind the campaign.

The Takeaway?

Don’t trust the Twitter-sphere to use your #Hashtags in the way they were intended

2. BlackBerry Blues

It seems that the only people who don’t know that BlackBerry is doomed in the world of iPhones and Samsungs, is BlackBerry themselves.

Or maybe not…?

It seems that some pretty cluey BlackBerry employees have already jumped ship.

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blackberry up close

When even the @BlackBerry Twitter account is tweeting via an iPhone what chance is there of inspiring the masses to make the switch themselves? And all this AFTER the controversy surrounding BlackBerry Global Creative Director Alicia Keys tweeted from an iPhone after claiming she only uses the BlackBerry 10 (and then claiming she was “hacked”).

The Takeaway?

Its pretty simple really. If you are advertising a product, you should probably not use the competitors product to do it!

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3. Maps can change

Russians are generally more known for their serious manner and Vodka distilling skills than their love of slightly-ignorant jokes. And they DID NOT take it well when Coca-Cola decided to wish them a Happy Holidays with this Tweet.

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While to most people this picture of a snowy Russia may seem innocuous enough, the map is missing Kaliningrad, a Russian province along the Baltic Sea.

And to a lot of Russians, THIS IS A BIG DEAL.

This lead to a new Twitter campaign to #BanCocaCola in Russia.

The Takeaway?

If you are not that good at Geography that’ s fine.

That’s why there is GOOGLE!

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What are some of the classic social media #fails that you have seen? Does this do real damage to brand identity or is it simply forgotten by the next #KimExposedTaylorParty ?

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3 thoughts on “The Big Scary World of Social Media

  1. OMG the #YourTaxi fail reminds me of when Queensland rail thought it would be a great idea to let everyone make memes for their safety messages.
    Hilarious but not OKAY
    Definitely need those yellow lines to stand behind on the internet

    Liked by 2 people

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