3 Social Media Blunders you can Learn from

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We all make mistakes. But, hopefully you don’t have the misfortune of making the same mistake twice. Better yet, maybe you can watch other people make the mistakes and avoid them altogether. Naturally, in the world of online content marketing, it’s easy to make mistakes. Luckily, others have already made them and we can now sit back and learn from them.

Here are some real-life social media marketing examples that will make you cringe.

Spam from the Camry

Toyota makes some pretty popular cars. They are cost-effective and get great gas mileage. Plus, they aren’t that bad to look at. It’s probably for this reason that they sell so well. But, like any company, Toyota is constantly on the lookout for ways to increase their market share.

Enter the great Superbowl disaster 2012.

Toyota knew that social media was on the rise and decided to capitalize on the situation. But, what they didn’t count on is that their entire campaign would go up in flames.

After setting up several Twitter accounts, such as CamryEffect1, 2, and so on, the company began using their new accounts tremendously. The goal was to get their name out there and getting on a personal level with their customers.

But, the plan completely backfired. Instead of the customers being excited and engaged with the Twitter conversations, they were annoyed. They viewed this as an attempt to self-promote the company and considered the messages unsolicited spam.

Naturally, they couldn’t stand the overwhelming amount of spam messages they were receiving and had quite a few nasty comments for Toyota. In the end, the campaign ended and Toyota issued an apology.

What’s the lesson here? To think before you Tweet. Think about how the tweet is going to come across to your customers. Is the information you’re giving them valuable and interesting? Or, is it just an attempt to sell them something? If it’s the latter, they probably won’t respond to it the way you think they will.

Netflix

Since Netflix entered the scene, it has virtually shut down the competition. Between its success and the success of Redbox, Blockbuster and other video rental stores are now virtually non-existent. The company rose to fame quickly and there is very little they have done wrong in their time.

But, we can’t let them off the hook quite yet because we have Qwikster to deal with.

The idea was not a bad one. Netflix started by thinking some of their customers might want to stick with the home delivery rental portion of their service that made them so popular to begin with. However, there were a few hiccups. For starters, most people really preferred the streaming option over the mail delivery. They didn’t care for the price, either. And, they were forced to set up two separate accounts for the concept, which made it a bit of a hassle.

But, the biggest mistake of them all was in the name itself.

You see, the twitter handle ‘Qwikster’ had already been claimed. The user who claimed it definitely didn’t want to talk about movies. Instead, he spent his time cursing and talking about drugs. Of course, the guy didn’t have anything to do with Netflix, but it still reflected poorly on the company.

This is why our mother’s wouldn’t let us play with certain kids when we were growing up.

So, what have we learned here? We learned that you should first check out the name of your company before you select it. Has someone else already picked up that name? Is it still available on all social media platforms? Plus, you really should check to make sure your customers actually want your service before you offer it to them.

Walmart

You wouldn’t think that a mega-giant like Walmart would be capable of making mistakes. Believe me, they definitely are. History has shown that they have very little interest in listening to their customers. This was proven in 2010 when they decided to edit what could be shared on their Facebook page.

Facebook has become the place to communicate with companies. All in all, this has been a pretty good thing. Companies are able to talk to their customers, figure out where problems are and correct issues before they become blown out of proportion.

However, this was not something Walmart was interested in. Instead, they completely removed the ability the customers had of complaining about the store on their Facebook page. Dissatisfied customers were simply expected to hold their frustrations inside and not let anyone know about them.

But, what Walmart failed to realize was that just because the complaints didn’t make it onto their own Facebook page didn’t mean they wouldn’t be shared on social media. Instead, customers angrily posted even more bad reviews all over other sites on Facebook. So, Walmart ended up with even more angry customers and no way to talk to them.

What can we learn here? For starters, take time to listen to your customers. Otherwise, they will believe you don’t care about them and their concerns. Second, you can control negative feedback much better if it is on your own Facebook page instead of spread all around the internet.

If you are glad you weren’t a part of these major snafus, raise your hand. Nothing hurts worse than creating a mistake that lives on for eternity on the internet. Unfortunately for these guys, this is exactly what happened. But, lucky for us, we are here to never make these same mistakes ourselves. When you are developing your content marketing strategies, be sure you keep these mistakes in mind and avoid them at all costs.

Making mistakes is a part of everyday life. Sometimes, they are impossible to avoid. If you are concerned that you are making mistakes with your content marketing campaign, now is the time to partner with the experts.

Mike Templeman

About Mike Templeman

Mike Templeman is the CEO and Founder of Foxtail Marketing. He is passionate about tech, marketing and startups. When not tapping away at his keyboard, he can be found spending time with his wife and kids. He is also Canadian… or more importantly, he is Canadian.

Foxtail Marketing is a digital marketing firm that provides content marketing, digital marketing, and lead generation services for small and mid-market companies.

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