Oops! Social Media Marketing Campaigns That Became PR Nightmares



Social media team planningUnquestionably, social media has become a very powerful marketing tool for companies looking to reach the largest number of people and, more importantly, engage them. In fact, about 78% of organizations now even have dedicated teams for social media.

As more and more people make Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other channels a part of their everyday life, marketing campaigns on social media have become a must. You can rely on experts from around the globe to render such a service. Locally, you’ll also find companies offering social media marketing in NJ  that can help boost your sales or raise consumer awareness of your brand.

Unfortunately, it is also a double-edged sword: in capable hands, it’s like a gift that keeps on giving, but it can also hurt anyone who does not know how to wield it properly.

Sometimes, even established organizations get burned when they inexplicably misfire in their social-media marketing campaign. Here are some of the biggest fails from last year and what can be learned from them.

Wendy’s Pepe the Frog Tweet

The popular fast-food chain has made its presence felt on Twitter with its strong opinions especially when it comes to its products, as well as its relationship with its followers. It regularly tweets memes as well to emphasize a point and get consumers engaged, which was all good. That is, until it tweeted a Pepe the Frog cartoon dressed as the restaurant’s mascot, somehow forgetting that the character has become known as an anti-Semitic hate symbol. The backlash was instantaneous, and Wendy’s had to take down the tweet and issue an apology.

Dove Still Thinks Black Isn’t Beautiful

In a Facebook ad last October, Dove showed a black woman turning white after using its lotion. Many of course saw a racist undertone of the commercial, and they quickly let the company know in the comments section. Dove owned up to the mistake and admitted that they “missed the mark.”

IHOP Went “Political”

For some reason, the breakfast brand retweeted a message calling Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign as “garbage” in early 2017, earning a lot of negative comments as well as inquiries from customers who were used to seeing pancakes in IHOP’s Twitter feed instead of politically motivated messages. The company later announced that their account was hacked, but somehow no one bought it.

Pepsi Tried to Bring Peace

Using the star power of Kendall Jenner, the soft drink brand tried to show that it can help ease tension in a street protest. Unfortunately, what most people who saw the TV ad thought was that the whole commercial was tone-deaf to reality and smacked of cynicism.

McDonald’s “Insensitive” TV Commercial

Aired on U.K. television, it showed a distraught boy grieving for his dead father. But instead of eliciting sympathy from viewers, the commercial was panned for exploiting child bereavement. It was a clear case of good intentions being executed badly.

Mistakes on social media are a dime a dozen, and everyone makes them. But companies that have a brand and an image to protect should do well to make sure it never happens to them. A well thought out marketing strategy is always a great safeguard.