Top 8 Social Media Fails by Big Brands and Ways to Avoid Their Mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes. Some are bigger than others – and some are certainly more visible.

On social media, ideas, products, and thoughts are more visible than ever – especially those from popular companies and organizations. And some companies just haven’t quite mastered the art of sending the perfect 140-character tweet. That can lead to some pretty epic social media fails by big, worldwide brands.

Here are some of the most head-shaking social media mistakes made by big companies.

1. NRA

What happened? The NRA posted a pro-gun tweet, which isn’t out of character for the group. But, timing is everything. It just so happened that the NRA posted that tweet the same day as the Aurora shootings in Colorado.

Twitter Fail: American Rifleman

What we learned: You really cannot underestimate timing. While the tweet was clearly a coincidence (it was sent a few hours before the shooting) the NRA should have kept a better eye on its posts – especially if they are scheduled out.

2. Celeb Boutique

What happened? Unlike the NRA, which sent their tweet prior to the tragedy, CelebBoutique sent this tweet after the fact:

Twitter Fail: Celeb Boutique

What we learned: Check. The. Hashtags. Celeb Boutique didn’t click on the actual hashtag to see why it was trending in the first place – a very public and embarrassing mistake.

3. Kitchen Aid

What happened: Just about everyone has an opinion on President Obama’s healthcare reform – but some people should stay out of it. Like Kitchen Aid. A member of its team sent this tweet (likely intended for a personal Twitter account) back in September:

Twitter Fail: Kitchen Aid

What we learned: Be sensitive. Not everyone agrees with the President’s ideas, but you can bet that most people care about showing sensitivity in matters like a death in the family. And, just to be safe, avoid politics.

4. Kenneth Cole

What happened? Retailer Kenneth Cole thought that the uprisings taking place in Cairo would
be a good time to send this tweet:

Twitter Fail: Kenneth Cole

What we learned: Don’t use political unrest to plug your spring collection.

5. American Airlines

What happened: A lot of big companies schedule out tweets and posts to make their social media presence easier to manage. But, that can make you look pretty foolish, as American Airlines found out when they automatically replied positively to negative tweets:

Twitter Fail: American Airlines

What we learned: Just because scheduling out posts is time-efficient, doesn’t mean it’s always efficient in bulking up your reputation. American Airlines made itself look incompetent and uncaring.

6. British Airways

What happened: One of the biggest adjustments that huge companies had to make on social media? Being accessible at all hours of the day. British Airways apparently doesn’t stick to 24/7 customer service, even though its customers are online 24/7. When a passenger unsuccessfully asked for help in tracking down a lost bag, he voiced his displeasure with a paid promoted tweet that was seen by 76,000 people.

Twitter Fail: Bristish Airways

What we learned: Your Twitter feed has to be monitored 24/7 – especially if you’re in a business (like an airline) where people are constantly impacted by your company.

7. McDonald’s

What happened: Using hashtags to promote a product = good idea. Using a vague hashtag that then gets spun negatively = what happened to McDonald’s. Last year, McDonald’s promoted the hashtag #McDStories in the hopes that customers would share positive, happy stories about their Mickey D’s experience. What they got was a bunch of tweets like this:

Twitter Fail: McDonalds

What we learned: If you’re going to use a promotional hashtag, make sure it’s one specific enough to get the desired result.

8. Home Depot

What happened: Home Depot, a sponsor of ESPN’s College GameDay, ended up firing the employee who sent posted this tweet:

Twitter Fail: Home Depot

What we learned: Racism, even when used in humor, is never going to with followers. What do most of these blunders have in common? Twitter. It’s a type first, think later medium, and that can lead to problems. You can always delete a tweet – but once it’s posted, retweeted or shared, it’s out there forever.

Here are a few closing tips to keep in mind:

1. Think before you tweet. Don’t use a natural disaster or a controversial news story to promote your company. Epicurious used the Boston Bombings as a platform to promote its scones. It had to spend a lot of time apologizing afterward, understandably so.

2. Respond in a timely way. This is especially important for companies that need to operate 24/7, like telcos Comcast and Verizon and airlines. Replying to customers when they have an immediate problem goes a long way in showing you care.

3. Keep it light if you want to keep it timely. Brands like Tide, Volkswagen and Jim Beam used the Super Bowl blackout to cleverly and light-heartedly promote their products. Nothing controversial – just clever, timely and fun tweets.
What social media fails have you seen on Twitter?

Michelle Smith is a freelance writer with a focus on social media and marketing. She can be found typing away on her laptop in sunny Boca Raton, Florida. Michelle welcomes your feedback at michellelsmithwriter@gmail.com

How To Use Social Media To Help Fund Your Non-Profit

Have you ever asked yourself how you can use social media to help fund your non-profit? This post is for you.

Social Media Fundraising Non ProfitAny type of non-profit can employ these three social networking tips to gain followers and increase donations. The good thing about a non-profit is that it exists solely to benefit others. Your organization has a purpose – your job is to tell the world what you’re doing and make them care.

Nowadays, most companies have their own Facebook pages or Twitter accounts. So how do you get your page to stand out above all the competition, and ultimately use social networking to help fund your non-profit?

Here are three ways you can use social media to help fund your non-profit.

1) Establish a personal connection. People are more willing to give to a non-profit if they feel a personal connection to its work. Social media is a great way to connect with people. Reply to followers who send you tweets or direct messages, and be sure to provide an answer when a follower or a fan asks you a question.

But no relationship works if only one side initiates the conversation. This goes for social media, as well. You have to start conversations, too. Ask your followers questions about your organization or related issues, and encourage responses.

2) Reach out to others. Generating conversation is good, but in order to engage your followers, you have to have followers. To help your organization gain followers, reach out to organizations similar to your own. They are not necessarily your “competition” – they are organizations made up of people who want to help others, just like you. They could share your cause with their followers, which could expose you to more potential fans and donors.

Don’t forget to reach out to people who establish a connection with your cause on their profiles. For example: if your non-profit raises money for schools in impoverished countries, reach out to educators who express an interest in global issues. If they like the work you do, maybe they’ll like your page or donate. If they don’t? Well, they’ll probably just ignore you. No harm done.

3) Share how your organization is changing the world. No one likes to be begged. If all you do on social media is ask your followers for money, you start to look desperate pretty quickly. Instead of looking at social media as just a way to increase donations, look at it as a way to further your cause. Take pictures or post articles that show off what your organization has done – with your donors’ help – to make the world better. Thank donors for helping you do x, y, and z.

The people who follow you already like your work, so you don’t have to sell them on your goal. Instead, show off your accomplishments. If you stress the impact donations have, then donations will come.

Coming soon, we’ll tell you about some organizations that do a great job using some of these social networking techniques.

Help Us Inspire Online Movements

Markitors is looking to add a creative, witty and clever intern to inspire online movements as a part of our Social Media team. Candidates should have experience with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, and some WordPress. This is a part-time internship offering up to 20 hours per week. You’ll mostly work out of coffee shops, co-working spaces, and client offices since we’re a startup in search of the right office space.

Below are some scenarios that you’ll find yourself in at Markitors. Please respond with an example tweet you’d post for each scenario.

1. Photos of Carmen Electra licking an ice cream cone in her underwear, high heels, and our client’s t-shirt.

2. We need to fill a venue in NYC that seats 500 people for a movie premiere.

3. We’re releasing an iPhone app for the Phoenix Light Rail.

4. Celebrity fitness chef wants to market new healthy recipes.

5. Executive search firm wants local job seekers to apply for jobs.

6. Chemical free cleaning supply company wants to market to prego mommies.

65. The number 65.

5 Social Media Mistakes Executives Make (And How To Avoid Them)

Executives are prone to making social media mistakes because of a lack of understanding.

Social Media Mistakes Executives MakeThis post lists out 5 social media mistakes executives commonly and make, with action items on how to avoid making these mistakes.

Lack of A Strategy

Too many executives have created a Twitter account without a social media strategy. Social media is not a website. You can’t set it and forget it. Instead, when executives create their social media profiles, there should be a plan in place that will produce a variety of content to engage followers.

Action item: Develop a social media strategy before you create a Twitter profile, Pinterest account, or Facebook page. The social media strategy should include:

  • Tone and Voice of the executive
  • Digital outreach plan of attack
  • Content schedule
  • Concepts for connecting with customers
  • Tracking your digital success: Key Metrics | Competitors

Selling

Executives have a natural tendency to broadcast sales messages on social media. While pitching products can be expected of an executive who promotes their business or themselves online, there has to be a healthy variety of messages to keep your following engaged.

Action item: Make sure that only about 10% of all your outgoing messages are “sales focused.” This will keep your following more engaged, because no one likes to be sold to all the time.

One Way Communication

Social media offers an incredible opportunity to get close to your customers. But, a lot of executives continue to use social media as a one way street. The executives that do use social media as a two way street have more loyal customers and enjoy innovative ideas from their community.

Action itemCheck out Arizona Diamondback President Derrick Hall’s monthly chat that he holds with fans. Then, take a look at how Boyd Tinsley of Dave Matthews Band uses Twitter. These are two excellent examples of executives who use social media well.

Consistent Personal Branding

People research executives online before they decide to do business with them. The social media mistakes executives make is not having a consistent brand across their social media channels. If business owners filled out their Linkedin profile completely and developed a consistent bio for Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin, they’d improve their personal and company brand.

Action item: Develop a consistent bio that fits into 160 characters. Use the bio for every social media account. Fill out each profile completely with links back to your website, or whatever you’d like to promote. Use the same headshot across all platforms. Make sure things are consistent.

Overestimating The ROI

Another social media mistake executives commonly make is thinking that social media will bring immediate results. In fact, the impact social media has on sales is pretty minimal in most cases. The better reason for being on social media is for branding purposes. Social media has the ability to shape the perception people have about the organization.

Action item: Do a gut check as to why you want to use social media. The fact is, people are curious about the people who make up the company they support. If your motivation to be on social media is to increase the transparency of your company by being visible, then we’d say that’s a good reason to get started.

Markitors is spelled with an “i/o” for input output. We’re an analytical digital marketing agency in Phoenix that blends marketing and auditing to help executives improve their online presence. Contact us to see how Markitors can help create an executive branding strategy for your organization.

iPhone App Directories

List of iPhone App Directories

iPhone App DirectoriesA good way to market your iPhone app is to employ a SEO strategy. That way, when people Google terms like “Phoenix Light Rail app,” they’ll discover your iPhone app and go download it. With that said, a big component to any SEO strategy is building links to your website. Here is a list of iPhone app directories that you can submit your website to.

Crunchbase
CrunchBase is the free directory of technology companies, people, and investors that anyone can edit.

StumbleUpon
StumbleUpon helps you explore new and interesting things from every corner of the Web.

Killer Startups
KillerStartups is dedicated to sharing more than just the hottest new startups. They want to share the stories of the PEOPLE behind the successful companies and their advice for other internet entrepreneurs.

Rate My Startup
Founders can share their ideas and get helpful feedback on your startup or website.

Digg
Digg delivers the most interesting and talked about stories on the Internet right now.

Technorati
You’ll have to verify your claim token afterwards with a code like this: RQARSS6N9X3U

Ziipa
Discover the best web and mobile apps for you!

Listio
Have you uncovered a web 2.0 gem that is not yet listed on Listio for Web 2.0? Please submit your find emailing submissions (at) listio.com.

Startup Booster
Just fill out the form below with necessary information about your new venture.

Feed My App
web & mobile apps reviewed

Go2Web20
online tools and applications

Rev2
weblog dedicated to profiling the best web apps & services and tracking new emerging trends in this space.

Webdev2.0
submit a site or an app

New Startups
requirements for a successful submission include: a) a visually appealing website or product image (as judged by our senior staff) b) an idea that we believe, is suitable for sharing with our readers.

Startup Wizz
Startup evaluation

Wikindu
Get free exposure by submitting your startup for review to Wikindu.com. Submitting your startup is free of charge.

Hacker News
Technical startup crowd.

DMOZ
If your app is going to be around for awhile…

Tech Bliss Online
Details of any technology product or web start up can be submitted here.

Beta List
Get free exposure to thousands of early adopters by submitting your startup for review.

Make Use Of
features cool websites, computer tips, and downloads that make you more productive.

Americans at Work
Please try to support American Worker’s Jobs by submitting additional products to add to the directory.

Pages Inventory
Webmasters can add own sites to the directory

Movie Trailer Marketing

How do you create a movie trailer marketing strategy to organically market an indie film?

Movie Trailer Marketing

Markitors movie trailer marketing approach:

Faces In The Mirror is an indie film that looked to Markitors to do some movie trailer marketing. With less than a month until the movie premiered, Markitors identified the following objectives to best leverage the trailer:

  • Establish the movie trailer as the “anchor” so other videos from the film could be more easily marketed
  • Optimize the movie trailer for Youtube and Google search terms so fans could immediately engage with the film
  • Strategically distribute and embed the movie trailer on movie and music blogs to reach a larger audience

With these marketing objectives in mind, Markitors gathered more than 25,000 Youtube views for the trailer and got the video to the #1 search spot on Youtube. The film also was one of the most popular Indie films on iTunes for the first two weekends after it’s online release.

Here is the trailer:

From Our Client:

Our goal was to get people to experience this film. The trailer was a crucial element to beginning that experience, which is why it was so important to market the trailer before the premiere. In a month we went from 0 to 20,000 views to quickly get the word out about the film.

Markitors is spelled with an “i/o” for input output. We’re an analytical digital marketing agency in Phoenix that blends marketing and auditing to help B2C companies improve their online presence. Contact us to see how Markitors can help create a movie trailer marketing strategy for your organization.

Employer Branding Strategy

How do you turn three words into an employer branding strategy in the staffing industry?

Employer Branding Strategy

Markitors employer branding strategy approach:

Job Brokers Inc. originally approached Markitors with a dream and a concept. It was our job to take their trademarked tagline – “What’s Your Why?” – and create an employer brand that would be unlike anything else in the staffing industry. To create the blueprint of how this brand would evolve into a leader in the staffing industry, Markitors did the following:

  • Conducted a comprehensive evaluation of ten competitors and their employment brand
  • Researched relevant insights on the staffing industry, job seekers and the target audience
  • Identified opportunities to create a new category in the staffing industry
  • Developed the foundation for the new brand according to the opportunities that existed in the industry
  • Created ownable points of difference to get to the core of the brand

From the above, Markitors did the following for the brand identity:

  • Wrote the brand positioning statement
  • Created the brand name
  • Designed the logo, business cards, letterhead and powerpoint slides
  • Designed the website and social media assets

From Our Client:

Markitors gives you the best bang for your buck without having to go to one of the bigger agencies in town.

Markitors is spelled with an “i/o” for input output. We’re an analytical digital marketing agency in Phoenix that blends marketing and auditing to help B2C companies improve their online presence. Contact us to see how Markitors can help create an employer branding strategy for your organization.

Employment Branding Strategy

Half of the American workforce dislikes what they do for a living. What’s an employment branding strategy that addresses this statistic?

Employment Branding Strategy

Markitors employment branding strategy approach:

To get the attention of the 75 million Americans who hate their job, we had to do something different. Something BIG. And when you think BIG, what do you think of?

Well, we thought of an RV. Then we thought we’d take this RV around America to interview people who enjoyed what they did for a living. 16,000 miles, 38 states and more than 300 interviews later, we created the Pursue the Passion brand.

Pursue the Passion accomplished the following:

  • More than 300 interviews with people who are passionate about their work
  • 50+ national and local press appearances
  • 100+ keynote speeches from Alaska to Miami Beach
  • The creation of an online career education resource in www.pursuethepassion.com
  • Best selling book on Amazon

Here’s a PPT describing our Pursue The Passion journey in more detail:

Markitors is spelled with an “i/o” for input output. We’re an analytical digital marketing agency in Phoenix that blends marketing and auditing to help B2C companies improve their online presence. Contact us to see how Markitors can help create a recruitment social media strategy for your organization.

MiLB Apps – iPhone Apps For Baseball Teams

Fans want an MiLB app for their favorite minor league baseball team. We gave them something for their iPhone and Android.

MiLB app - iPhone apps for minor league baseball teams

Markitors approach to giving fans an MiLB app for their favorite minor league baseball team:

As sports marketers and baseball fans, Markitors decided to create an iPhone app that engaged minor league baseball fans. The MiLB app would have easily accessible features that fans would love. Our list of features included the following:

  • Schedule and Results
  • Current Roster
  • Purchase Tickets
  • Follow the team on Facebook and Twitter
  • Stadium Seating Chart
  • Map Directions to the ballpark
  • Current Weather Forecast
  • Team News
  • Complete Player Stats
  • Standings
  • Team Website

In addition to these features, Markitors also developed a feature for fans called “Photo Op,” which allowed fans to insert team props – from a foam finger to the mascot – into their photos and allowed them to share them with friends via Facebook, Twitter, and email. This feature came from another baseball iPhone app we developed called Humm Baby.

Here are some screenshots from the iPhone apps we developed for minor league baseball teams:

Jackson General iPhone App

Anthony Rizzo - Tucson Padres

Photo Op - MiLB app - Markitors

Google Maps - MiLB app

MiLB app - Harrisburg Senators - iPhone App

Fans can download the MiLB app for their favorite team in the iTunes store. These iPhone apps are FREE for fans. Teams have the ability to brand the apps for additional sponsorship revenue, or incorporate features that produce revenue.

Please contact us to learn about how Markitors can develop an iPhone app for your company.

Markitors is spelled with an “i/o” for input output. We’re an analytical digital marketing agency in Phoenix that blends marketing and auditing to help B2C companies improve their online presence. Contact us to see how Markitors can help create an iPhone app for your organization.

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