Oct 13, 2021

Social Media Mistakes that will Haunt You

In 2021, we all understand the importance of social media and the benefits it can bring to your brand. With more than 4.2 billion active social media users*, that’s almost half the world’s population available at your brand’s fingertips – totally willing to see the good you do, but who will also never forget the bad.  Social media can help businesses in many ways, including connecting with your target audience, engaging with customers, and growing your business. If you’re not using social media within your digital marketing strategy, then you’re missing out on a fast, inexpensive, and effective way to reach your audience.  

But what are the downsides to social media? Let’s be honest, social media mistakes are an eternal dark mark for your brand’s image. A bit like the undead sneaking up on you when you least expect, as a social media faux pas will never die. And you better believe, that out of the 4.2 billion active social media users, SOMEONE screen grabbed it only to wrap its icy fingers around your neck. 

So, with the spirit of Halloween in mind, and you’ve settled in with your ghoulish costumes, horror flicks, tricks and treats, it’s also a great time of year to reflect on some of the scariest (and funniest) social media boo-boos.  


1.) The time Tesco told their followers they were ‘hitting the hay’ in the middle of a horse meat scandal. 

In 2013, Tesco, a popular supermarket chain in the UK, was caught selling their ‘Everyday Value Spaghetti Bolognese’ with 60% horse meat. Probably not the best time to tell your followers that you’re ‘hitting the hay’. Always be sure to check with fellow team members to avoid such horrors. 


2.) When the popular pen company, Bic, told women to think like a man on #HappyWomensDay. 

This was after their introduction of Bic Cristal “For Her” pens, which had boasted using “a thinner barrel to fit a women’s hand.” Yes, seriously. 


3.) If you’re using social media as a service tool, it’s best to be conscientious in your responses. It’s great to use Twitter, or other social media, to instantly connect and help customers. But it wasn’t so great for Transport For London when they told a customer to leave earlier after she complained about train delays.  


4.1) Even celebrities can make errors too. 


Hey, they’re busy people and this is what celebrities pay Public Relations people to do. But they still should consider proofing the copy before they hit share. 

 4.2) And they should also consider fact-checking before asking for free product. 


 5.) And lastly, not one, but two spelling mistakes from the U.S Department of Education – a grave faux pas that just wouldn’t die. 

 First, they tweeted a famous quote by the past civil rights activist and NAACP co-founder, W.E.B Du Bois, in which they refer to him as ‘DeBois’. 

Four hours later they apologize for the error but couldn’t even get that right either. A prickly pill to swallow considering they are the Department of Education. It must’ve been a late-night for that individual.  


Although some of these are scarier than a deranged clown under the bed, fear not. If you need a solid, scare-proof social media strategy, the team at Design Thinking is always available to help. We’re here to tell your story in a way that aligns with your brand and within your budget. Whatever your business – there’s an online audience for you, and we’ll help you find it. Contact us to learn more!  


*This data was found at: https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-for-business/