#FAILFriday: Epic Twitter Fails!

By: Austin Jensen

tweetfail

Last week we looked at a major fail on Facebook by Amy’s Baking Company.  This week we look at a couple major marketing fails.  We will start with an epic fail by popular cooking website, Epicurious.  For those of you who do not know, Epicurious is a resource for members to go to for all things cooking.  Around the time of the Boston Marathon bombing, Epicurious took to Twitter to promote its recipes.   Now, I do not have to tell you that this was a highly sensitive time all over the United States.  Here are a couple tweet examples:

epicurious-boston-tweet

This was viewed as an incredibly insensitive move on the part of Epicurious.  Let this be a lesson in morals and ethics.  This was not an appropriate time to be promoting their business, this is a time to step away from what your company does and pay tribute to the victims of this horrible event.  The social media manager of Epicurious really dropped the ball on this one, and found himself apologizing in a series of several tweets as well as deleting the inappropriate tweets.  I will say it time and time again, social media is not something to be taken lightly.  Social media is FANTASTICALLY powerful when used correctly.  Now, it is unfair to only call out Epicurious for making this mistake, because many other organizations have made mistakes as well.  Another, as stated by Alex Fitzpatrick of Mashable, would be the NRA tweeting about shooters on the day of the Aurora, Colorado shooting.  Here is the tweet:

Screen-Shot-2012-07-20-at-12.05.34-PM

Alex, goes on to write about how the NRA used Hootsuite to schedule that tweet.  This means that the tweet was scheduled in advance, and the NRA made the mistake of not checking what they had going out for that day on Twitter!  Resources such as Hootsuite and Buffer are amazing resources for social media managers.  They allow you to schedule things like Facebook posts, and tweets weeks in advance.  Clearly, they can also hurt an organization if you just schedule without a quick daily check.  The NRA actually ended up deleting their twitter account for awhile as the negative feedback became too much for them to handle.

I believe that between these two twitter fails that Epicurious handled things best.  Sure, they screwed up and that is something that they will never be able to erase.  However, the worst thing you can do is run away from the issue.  An organizations should look to own up to their mistake and work to fix it.  They should also make the fix quickly and efficiently while moving on with their normal social media practices.

As always, we want to know what you think about all of this!  What is your opinion?  Was this blown out of proportion by the press?  Who handled it best in your opinion?  What would you do as the social media manager?

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