In the fast paced world of social media, tweet faux pas are bound to happen. Most of the time, these minor mistakes barely cause a ripple in the social stream. Other times you have to wonder what brands were thinking. And sadly, the answer is usually “not enough.”
In the following cases, these are some serious #TwitterFails:
Most Twitter fails start out seemingly innocent. Frozen pizza brand DiGiorno probably didn’t expect a wave of backlash to hit it when it tweeted “#WhyIStayed You had pizza” earlier this month.
The problem with jumping in on the trending topic #WhyIStayed is because it was domestic violence victims sharing stories about situations that forced them to stay with their abusers. Clearly, the joke was in bad taste and DiGiorgno quickly deleted the tweet and issued several tweet apologies.
We heard from many of you, and we know we disappointed you. We understand, and we apologize to everyone for this mistake.— DiGiorno Pizza (@DiGiornoPizza) September 9, 2014
Bank of America
In 2013, Occupy Wall Street activists planned what was being called on Twitter a #Chalkupy event that involved writing in chalk in front of big businesses. One such business was the Bank of America. Twitter user @darthmarkh tweeted about the NYPD forcing him to move off the sidewalk as he was chalking in front of the Bank of America building.
Bank of America’s Twitter account started replying to @darthmarkh and other users with what appeared to be automated customer service messages. Immediately, the Twitterverse began putting Bank of America on blast for being a robot.
Bank of America then came out that it was actually real people responding to the tweets, making the institution seem even more faceless, corporate– and most of all – social media incompetent. Things got even worse when the media started picking up the story.
Conde Nast-owned food website Epicurious took a chance on real-time marketing on Twitter, but clearly took instant response over common sense. The morning after the tragic bombings at the Boston Marathon, Epicurious tweeted its condolences – along with some recipes for breakfast foods.
As soon as the Twitterverse started responding with shock at the tactic, Epicurious deleted the tweets and started spamming apologizing responses to Twitter users.
Our food tweets this morning were, frankly, insensitive. Our deepest, sincere apologies.— epicurious (@epicurious) April 16, 2013
For many brands, the worst nightmare is to find its handle tied up with something pornographic. US Airways had that worst nightmare come true earlier this year when it accidently tweeted an obscene photo sent to its Twitter handle in a reply to a customer complaint.
The photo – very NSFW – was of a woman in a very compromising position. Like all brand faux pas on Twitter, news of the photo spread like wildfire and US Airways had to play damage control just as quickly. The photo was removed from its Twitter feed and the brand issued an apology. According to a US Airways spokesperson, the brand was trying to flag the inappropriate tweet that contained the photo and somehow that linked was copied and pasted into a reply to the customer.
We apologize for an inappropriate image recently shared as a link in one of our responses. We’ve removed the tweet and are investigating.— US Airways (@USAirways) April 14, 2014
After news broke that UK grocery store Tesco had been selling beef burgers contaminated with horse meat, customers were angry. But they got a whole lot angrier when the store tweeted: “'It's sleepy time so we're off to hit the hay! See you at 8am for more #TescoTweets'.” Immediately Twitter users starting firing back that the tweet was in bad taste because of the horse meat scandal. To combat the backlash, Tesco replied directly to the complaints with an apology and the explanation that it had been a scheduled tweet before the company had been aware of the horse meat problem. Another lesson in checking scheduled tweets regularly.
It's sleepy time so we're off to hit the hay! See you at 8am for more #TescoTweets— Tesco (@Tesco) January 17, 2013