Top 5 Social Media Fails of 2013

Let’s be real–none of us want to be sold to 24/7. But “liking” our favorite companies on Facebook can sometimes be a great way to stay in the loop on exclusive promotions and daily specials. Maybe your neighborhood restaurant uses their Twitter feed to give shoutouts to customers, or that retailer you love (but is too pricey to shop all the time) posts sales there first. We”ve all done it, and usually it’s worth the trouble to hit “Follow” and “Like”.

But then there are companies, both big and small, that post something so out of context, so inconsiderate, or so ill-timed… The only word to describe it is: fail! Even though 2013 isn’t quite over yet, there have been some major social media mishaps already…let’s take a trip down (short-term) memory lane, shall we?

5. American Airlines” Automated Tweets

As much as we probably don’t want to admit it, a lot of companies set up automated tweets. American Airlines” Twitter followers found out the hard way that their tweets are computer generated….when a negative Tweet directed at the company got a positive response back. In February, user @murphmarkd had some choice words for the company (read: words not suitable for print), who responded “Thanks for your support!” Whoops. Epic fail, right? social-meida-fail-2013-5" data-recalc-dims="1" /> We get that some companies have a limited budget, but American Airlines should have some fancy keyword identifier to address positive versus negative feedback, right? Most people send a negative tweet to a company when they”ve experienced poor airline service or had a long flight delay; the worst way to respond is by glossing over the problem! Takeaway: either have a human read your tweets, or…nope, just have some human oversight and you should avoid embarrassment.</p>
<h3>4. Gentlemen’s Club in in Australia Accidentally Promotes Its Underage Dancers</h3>
<p><img loading="lazy" width="720" height="482" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-1800" src="https://i0.wp.com/wajeez.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/social-meida-fail-2013-4.jpg?resize=720%2C482" alt= I’m not sure of anyone in my inner circle that would “like” their favorite Strip Club on Facebook. Apparently some people are not Facebook friends with their grandma, so they have nothing to worry about. Though, the almost 5000 fans of Spearmint Rhino, in Melbourne, Australia got more than they bargained for when their club of choice posted a baby picture of one of their “Rhino girls”. While this isn’t even a cute idea in the first place (literally infantilizing/fetishizing their strippers?), what made it even worse was that the image had a date stamp of September 1998. Which makes her currently….15 years old. Not only did this just get kind of weird, it got kind of illegal, right? Major creep factor here, and when a concerned Internet citizen took a screenshot, the company hadn’t even responded. Next time, check that you”re not accidentally ratting yourself out as a purveyor of scantily clad children, Spearmint Rhino! Hope they learned their lesson.

3. Papa John’s Takes Lazy ‘Giving” to Another Level

social-meida-fail-2013-3" width="300" height="419" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/www.wajeez.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/social-meida-fail-2013-3.jpg?w=422&ssl=1 422w, https://i0.wp.com/www.wajeez.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/social-meida-fail-2013-3.jpg?resize=214%2C300&ssl=1 214w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" data-recalc-dims="1" /></a>We”ve all seen or been guilty ourselves of sharing those photos on Facebook: Like if you agree, comment if you disagree! How does that even make sense? What’s even worse, though, is when companies beg for likes. Lots of companies do it, especially for giveaways. We can applaud Papa John’s effort to create awareness about ending child hunger, but is liking, commenting, and sharing corporate posts what we”ve come to? Have we no tangible way to help our communities directly, and must do so by liking a pizza chain? I don’t know about you, but these make me feel lazy, and kind of pathetic. We”d like to believe that Papa John’s is actually donating, but who actually knows? We hit “like” and forget all about it…until we see a mouth-watering pizza show up in our feed a week later.</p>
<h3>2. Tesco’s Horsemeat Tweets</h3>
<p>Weekly grocery list: chicken? Check! Eggs? Check! Horse burgers? Wait a second. Early this year UK company Tesco came under fire when consumers found out that they were possibly eating horse meat in their hamburgers…29% horse, to be precise. Now, I’m not sure exactly how I would fix this <strong>PR nightmare</strong>, but that’s why they get paid the big bucks. <img class="aligncenter" src="https://i0.wp.com/wajeez.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/social-meida-fail-2013-2.jpg?w=1500" alt= I’m quite sure, however, that my strategy to take some of the pressure off would not include the tweet above! ‘Hit the hay‘? The tweet seems innocent enough, but came right in the middle of the food product crisis. All I’m thinking is, what were they thinking? Maybe it was pun-intentional (see what I did there?!) Obviously someone on their team needed a refresher on tasteful tweeting! And, for our number one offender, drum-roll please…

1. Amy’s Baking Company Freaks Out All Over the Internet

Amy’s Baking Company is a small boutique restaurant in Scottsdale, Arizona. They”re not a chain, not franchised, and not run by a famous Executive Chef; but you”d have to be living under a rock this year to not have heard of them! They were thrust into the national spotlight when their restaurant was featured on Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares, where the chef helps small, struggling restaurants turn it around and become profitable again. Only this time, his plan to help totally backfired. Chef Ramsey, and the viewers, watched in horror as the owners mistreated their employees, stole waiter’s tips, and verbally abused customers. social-meida-fail-2013-1b" data-recalc-dims="1" /> <a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/1eegnm/former_waitress_katy_cipriano_from_amys_baking/" target="_blank" data-wpel-link="external" rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">Reddit</a> was the first social media site to blow up as a result, and shortly after, Facebook and Twitter exploded. But the real story is how the owners, Amy and Samy, responded to their ‘haters”: throwing slurs, threatening legal action, WRITING IN ALL-CAPS, cursing, and just generally backing themselves into a corner. <img class="aligncenter" src="https://i0.wp.com/wajeez.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/social-meida-fail-2013-1c.jpg?w=1500" alt= Oh, and then they claimed they were hacked. It’s a wonder how they still have business, but now some foodies visit just to say they survived. I would go out on a limb and say that this was the biggest company social media meltdown in Internet history. Other companies should probably bookmark ABC’s sites for training purposes: what not to do when trying to engage customers and generate sales.Last we heard, they were getting their own reality show…here we go again! So there you have it: some of the most scandalous or mismanaged social media fails of 2013. But don’t worry…we have four more months of 2013 to observe any other juicy corporate mishaps that will surely befall another unsuspecting company. Any moments we missed? Share them below!

1 reply
  1. justin
    justin says:

    Gordon Ramsey is a nightmare BUT I don’t think I’d ever go to this restaurant. Calling people pussies and whatnot is just stupid. I hope they go bankrupt.

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