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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Breaking The Brand: 6 Of The Biggest Social Media Disasters

Social media can be a brilliant platform for businesses to interact with their customers, but every once in a while, a Facebook post or tweet is posted that is so inappropriate, the Twittersphere are left with their mouths hanging open.

This has happened countless times over the last two years, with companies like HMV and Tesco falling under the bus. Whether it was a badly timed post, an accidental racial slur, or disgruntled employees hijacking the company account, it always seems to end the same way, with social media outrage and a series of apologetic posts.

Here is our list of the 6 worst social media disasters – prepare to cringe.

 1. HMV Employee Live Tweets Mass Firing

 Dear HMV, when you start firing employees left, right and centre, please remember who has access to your twitter accounts. In January 2013, an employee live tweeted the mass firing of over 190 staff members. “We’re tweeting live from HR where we’re all being fired! Exciting!!” was the first tweet to surface, it was quickly followed by several others, naming the incident a “Mass execution of loyal employees”.

The tweeting eventually stopped – we assume the Marketing Director finally figured out how to “shut down Twitter”.

2. Tesco’s Horse Meat Hilarity

Tesco was so caught up in dealing with the horse meat scandal situation last year that they evidently forgot to cancel their pre-scheduled tweet which went a little something like this:

"It's sleepy time so we're off to hit the hay. See you at 8am for more #TescoTweets."

Tesco immediately apologised for the post, claiming they were very sorry and “Would never intend to make light of (the situation)”. Posts everywhere emerged regarding the inappropriate tweet, ranging from the angry horse meat consumer, to the tweeter who found the post the most hilarious thing he had seen all day. 

Reminder: if your company is involved in a scandal that involves selling potentially contaminated meat to millions of customers, check what is in your social media queues. Just in case.

3. London Luton Airport learned the hard way how not to post on Facebook.

A new employee at London Luton Airport decided to let passengers know how much they care with a funny, informal tweet. How sweet.

Incidentally, this photo was from a Southwest Airlines flight in 2005, which in slid off the runway at Chicago Midway in heavy snow, killing a six-year-old passenger. After receiving several angry replies from Facebook users, Luton Airport removed the post claiming it was “Wholly unacceptable and insensitive.” They later added “We apologise for any offence caused. Further steps have been taken to guarantee this never happens again.” Come on Luton, check your image sources!

4. Epicurious – Recipe For Disaster

During last year’s Boston Marathon Bombing, the last thing anyone was thinking about was scones. No one told Epicurious that, though. They posted two tweets that, despite sounding delicious, were extremely inappropriate.

“Boston, our hearts are with you. Here’s a bowl of breakfast energy we could all use to start today.”

“In honour of Boston and New England, may we suggest: whole-grain cranberry scones!”

Now, we’re not sure if anyone is that passionate about cranberry scones, but in the name of respect, Epicurious, don’t use a national disaster to promote your baking recipes.

But wait! That’s not all. The apology tweet claimed they were sorry that their “Earlier tweets seemed insensitive.” More twitter users complained that they actually were insensitive and didn't just seem that way. The apology tweet was later deleted and replaced with a more appropriate, and grovelling, response.

5. NRA Inappropriate Tweets After Tragic Shooting

Just two hours after the tragic shooting incident in a cinema in Aurora, Colorado, the National Rifle Association posted this tweet.

“Good morning shooters. Happy Friday! Weekend plans?”

The post was released at 09.20 AM by American Rifleman – The National Rifle Association’s official journal. The group was pulled from the internet approximately 3 hours later, but the post had already taken effect. This is a social media disaster that encourages disgusted looks and silent shaking heads, and is not one that can be brushed off as an innocent mistake.

The NRA later apologised for the post, claiming the tweeter was not aware of the events unfolding in Colorado. We suggest taking a quick look at the day’s news before you post any questionable tweets!

6. American Apparel’s Hurricane Sandy Sale

There is always an opportunity to engage with your customers, even during a hurricane. Wait, what?

Yes, there it is - the thing people want most during a horrific natural disaster on their home state – a sale! The clothing company American Apparel posted this image, offering residents of the several states being hit by the hurricane 20% off all stock.

The post was hammered by social media users that were suffering in the storm, as well as those who realised American Apparel were using the disaster to increase their sales. Can you say ethics? American Apparel did apologise for the insensitive nature of their post, however, they did keep the promotion running.

Let us know your thoughts on these social media disasters and if you have any others you think deserve a place on the list.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Hi Tech Companies And The Cult Of The New

A recent BBC documentary series called 'The Men Who Made Us Spend', hosted by journalist Jacques Peretti, takes a skeptical look at the cult of consumerism in British culture. In the first episode, Jacques reveals how limiting a product's lifespan holds the key to our ever-churning consumerism.

Big tech companies, by designing a product to purposefully break within a certain period - a concept known as planned obsolescence - ensures the consumer is in constant thrall with the new. Although it creates a lot of needless waste, manufacturers see it is necessary for the health of the economy.

Technology and Fitness - bread and butter, or chalk and cheese?

Google Fit, Fitbit, Fatmorsel, Nofun smidgen – the number of fitness-related apps are, like a steroid-guzzling pro-wrestler, building up thick and fast, with everything from applications which record your jazz dancing sessions, to those that offer a sly jab in the arm when you forget to do your morning press-ups. And they're all offering a road to a slimmer, healthier, all-round better version of you.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Event Sponsorship: Integrating a digital strategy should be a priority, not an afterthought.

Marketing at events is great because, before the fact, it seems so easy. If you are a marketing manager with a wedge of marketing spend burning a hole in your back pocket, sponsoring an event can seem like a great way to bolster the brand without to much work on your end. Just write the check and reap the rewards, right?

Well, it depends. If your organisation's marketing goal is to build awareness, get eyeballs on your logo or to simply increase the number of people who vaguely recognise your brand name, it may very well be as simple as that.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

What Will You Do When The Internet Apocalypse Comes?

On a fateful Friday morning last week, mid-bite into a melting Malteser, the unthinkable happened.

No, the Kardashians were not spotted in Primark. No, it wasn't that all lines on the London underground were running without signal failures. And no, Queenie hadn't finally snuffed it in a blaze of glory on a beach in northern Phuket after knocking back one too many fishbowls and revealing that all of Philip’s racist remarks were all thought up by her.

Google failed us.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Need to rid your profile of it's 'you'-ness? Why click delete when Social Sweepster can do it for you!

So here it is, the revolutionary, the profound, the questionably unnecessary Social Sweepster, ready to rid your lives of all its saucy naughtiness and make it seem a little bit more ‘librarian’.

Friday, 27 June 2014

Fake News Stories Are Spreading Online Like Wildfire, And It's Making Me Look Like An Idiot

This is an intervention.

For many weeks the internet has been getting away with lies and deceit.

No more will we, the people, be made fools of.

Here’s a taste of what I’m talking about:

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

The Internet of Things to the...rescue?

RUN AND HIDE! Lock up your fridges! Flush your smartphone down the toilet! Smash that all-flipping, all-barking cute toy puppy to a speedy death with a sledge hammer. For they shall be taken. And unless you’re Liam Neeson’s daughter, ain’t no one gonna save ‘em.

Friday, 20 June 2014

Amazon Just Released The 'Fire Phone': What Next, The 'Face E-Book'?

There was a time when Amazon was for shopping, Google was for searching and advertising, Apple was for sleekly designed gadgets, and Facebook was for keeping in touch with friends.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Google Earth Art - You Won't Believe What 97 Cooling Towers Look Like Together

Jenny O’Dell creates images from man made structures - swimming pools, industrial buildings or even boats, that can be found on Google Earth.

Who could have guessed 97 nuclear cooling towers placed together would look that great ?

97 Nuclear Cooling Towers

100 Container Ships

125 Swimming Pools

Source: www.jennyodell.com

Monday, 16 June 2014

The internet is a playground - but should it be?

Because kids clearly don’t have enough to do these days, what with advancements in ADHD medication meaning supermarket tantrums don’t bring the same kicks as they used to, Facebook has developed a patent offering children of the world specialised access to the site. So although the current minimum user age is 13, there’s a chance your child needn't wait much longer to prematurely fry their brains into that zombie state traditionally reserved for teens just discovering internet porn. Hooray!

Friday, 13 June 2014

The Onion Unveils It's New Buzzfeed Parody Website: ClickHole

The Onion yesterday launched its new Buzzfeed parody website ClickHole - a website with content so clickable and sharable that once you've entered its domain you are unlikely to ever come back out again.

Google Takes To The Stars With A New $500 Million Cash Acquisition

Three days ago Google announced its most recent foray into space technologies and satellite launches: the acquisition of satellite photography company Skybox Imaging. Skybox were acquired in a cash only deal worth $500 million.

Friday, 6 June 2014

Businesses Without A Website Just Won't Make The Cut[ts]

This week as part of the Google webmaster help blog, the ever-animated/adventurous/amusing Matt Cutts released a video response to the popular question: 'what is the most common SEO mistake?'

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

How Far Will A UK Pension Take You Abroad?

Us Brits like to complain, and there's perhaps nothing that grinds our gears as much as the ever-ascending age of retirement. As it moves steadily toward 70 and with life expectancy around 80, many of us will be looking to make as much of our autumn years as we possibly can.

Friday, 16 May 2014

Should Google commit to Paying its “Fair Share”?

Rolling nicely off my last post about why Google’s evil (and why that’s not really a big deal), there’s a bunch of do-gooder shareholders looking to instill some sense of social conscience and responsibility in the tech giant. They’re going to fail miserably.

Friday, 2 May 2014

Google's Evil and it Hates You.

There's trouble afoot! An unknown whistle blower appears to have lifted the lid on some rather unscrupulous actions from Google in regards to its AdSense programme.

Friday, 25 April 2014

How The Internet Knew About The Pregnancy Before The Father

Ever heard the story about the high school girl who started receiving coupons for cribs and baby clothes before her father had even found out she was pregnant? Turns out Target (the American superstore) got tipped off by the girl's Facebook, which is a lot smarter than most users think.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

An Excellent Easter Post With No Egg Puns

Yay! Easter! It's just like Christmas because the religious significance has been lost to commercialism but there's less booze and more chocolate.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Camping for Tour de France 2014: An Interactive Map

This summer the Tour de France riders start their 3,656 KM journey in the Yorkshire city of Leeds and complete three whole stages on British soil before moving into the races titular homeland.

While this is great news for cycling fans, its even better for hoteliers along the route who have ramped up the price and sold out of rooms thanks to the throng of fans eager to catch a glimpse of the race.