Embarassing Social Media Mistakes: Some of the Best/Worst

It’s no secret that occasionally people and businesses have been caught up making embarrassing social media mistakes. Just recently we told about a social media specialist at the American Red Cross sending a personal tweet out on the Red Cross twitter feed in error. Now we thought we’d take a look at some other blunders using social media and give you some details of the best, or some might say the worst.

The way the Red Cross handled the slip-up was widely praised as the issue was handled with humor and a certain amount of good sense. Indeed the Red Cross even benefited from the mistake (a tweet about drinking) with a boost to donations. A reminder of some social media mistakes came from Julianne Pepitone over on CNN Money who has rounded up some social media screw-ups.

One of them involved car giant Chrysler with an errant tweet on the company’s account that read, “I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to f****ng drive.” We’ve altered a certain word but you’ll get the drift. This caused rather a furore on Twitter with angry people retweeting the message although Chrysler sent out another tweet apologizing and quickly removed the errant tweet. Chrysler later said its account ha been compromised and that the employee concerned, who worked for its social media agency, had been “terminated.” Presumably they meant the person lost their job rather than anything more sinister!

A different motoring giant, this time Honda, was involved in another social media blooper. A facebook page was launched for promoting the Accord Crosstour by Honda and after some rather negative feedback a certain Facebook user, Eddie Okubo, posted a glowing message saying, “Interesting design. I would get this car in a heartbeat.” However this backfired in rather humiliating fashion. First a message was added asking Okubo if he was trying to save his job at Honda, only to be followed by another message reading, “Maybe you like it Eddie because you’re the MANAGER OF PRODUCT PLANNING at Honda…(light trucks in particular)? Lol!” Honda later removed Okubo’s comments and explained that it did so because of Okubo’s failure to mention his company links.

Another mistake came from fashion house Kenneth Cole’s Twitter account when chairman, Kenneth Cole, decided to take to Twitter instead of leaving it to one of the trained social media personnel. Ooops! After the recent Egyptian protests and uprising in which people had been killed, Kenneth Cole tweeted, “Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online at [link redacted] -KC.” The link had been to the online company store and the initials KC meant it came from the chairman himself. Although Cole was quick to apologize on Twitter his comment had already been seen and was thought to be in bad taste. If Cole thought the apology would make it go away he was wrong and the Twitter community rose up, along with media outlets and a boycott of Kenneth Cole was urged.

For more social media mistakes hit the earlier link to CNN Money. These examples certainly show just how easy it is to quickly offend a lot of people using social media and is a reminder we all need to be careful using it. Have you ever made an embarrassing mistake using social media that you could share with us? Go on… send us your comments.