Everybody has heard the saying ‘think before you speak,’ but it is even more important to think before you post. Once you post something, even if you delete it, it never truly disappears. This pertains to personal social media accounts as well as business social media accounts. Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon once summed this up well for businesses. He said, “If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell six friends. If you make customers unhappy on the internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends.” In this blog post I will be going over three companies that should have thought twice before they posted, and reaped the consequences of not doing so.
The first example is Entenmann’s, taking it all the way back to 2011. They are known for their baked goods such as their donuts and their little bites muffins. Some people might even think of them as their guilty pleasure. On July 5 they Tweeted, “Who’s #notguilty about eating all the tasty treats they want?!” which sounds perfectly normal right? However, they didn’t check why #notguilty was trending before they posted. It was trending because of the Casey Anthony case, and as soon as they found out, they deleted the Tweet and apologized.
Another company who should have done a double check is Nivea, a body-care brand. On April 3, Nivea posted an ad on Facebook for their new deodorant. The text in their post said, “Keep it clean, keep bright. Don’t let anything ruin it, #Invisible.” But the text wasn’t the problem. The photo that went with the text was a woman sitting facing a window wearing all white. There was text on the photo that said, “White is purity” which sparked a lot of controversy online. After racist allegations, they pulled the ad and also put out an apology and explained themselves saying how they meant it was a stain-free deodorant.
Finally, a third brand who didn’t think about the recent past before they sent out a mass email: Adidas. On April 18, 2017, Adidas sent out an email that said “Congrats you survived the Boston Marathon!” They clearly did not think only four years back to the Boston Marathon bombing, where three people literally did not survive it. After being heavily criticized for their insensitivity, they also gave a public apology, but sadly for them, you can’t unsend an email. In their apology, they claimed that they were deeply sorry and said that there was no thought given to their wording.
After reading about three huge companies’ social media failures, you can see just how easy it can be to find yourself in deep water. Remember, think before you post, check why a hashtag is trending, and have other