Part II of Social Consciousness: ‘Big Brand’ Wince-Worthy Faux Pas – Holiday Social Media Edition
We weren’t just joking around when we said, in Part One, that a handful of big name brands on social media had some serious social blunders in the past. From using national tragedies to promote yourself, to national holidays where it’s better to salute than to sell, these brands could have used some staunch social consciousness training. Here are the top 5, ‘Big Brand’, wince-worthy blunders when it comes to social media marketing campaigns during the holidays.
Kmart’s Robotic Response to Thanksgiving Operations Backlash – When the retailer said they would be opening early on Thanksgiving and staying open through Black Friday, in 2013, the brand received immediate backlash from patrons on social media. All would have been alright, except for this robotic and replicated response to each individual tweeting at them with concern:
“@TwitterUser Kmart is staffing w/ teams & seasonal associates when possible, giving them opportunity to make extra money during holiday.”
American Apparel’s July 4 “Disaster” – As the Fourth of July often prompts many patriotic posts from brands on Tumblr and other visual social media platforms. Apparently the American Apparel employee, posting this image, was too young to remember and was not away of the Challenger Disaster. This post caused a lot of followers to deem the move as insensitive. American Apparel later apologized. Photo Credit: Tumblr, Braiker
Walmart’s Veterans Day Call to Action…Left Us Confused – Walmart’s 2015 promotion to “Greenlight a Vet” for Veterans Day this year has us all confused. There isn’t a whole lot of information on how to get involved—like purchasing the physical green lights. From a marketing standpoint, their Call to Action is weak, they don’t connect the message with the community with the products they’re selling, and it’s left a lot of people feeling as if Walmart is just preying on patriotism for profit—What an alliteration! Photo Credit: Forbes, Baird
Global Village Duluth got..racial on MLK Day – There’s not a lot to say for this one, other than the fact that Global Village Duluth left us shaking our heads when they put a sale on Facebook promoting 25% Off Everything Black in 2014.
AT&T commemorates 9/11 and sneaks in some promotion in one shot – Although September 11th isn’t a holiday, per se, it is a very popular day to remember and reflect on the tragedy that took place on the day in 2001. Many individuals and brands use it as a time to post pictures and status updates memorializing the day, but when AT&T posted this picture, Twitter felt the company was paying more respect to their products than taking a step back from promotion in order to remember 9/11, selflessly. The tweet was quickly removed. Photo Credit: Fast Company
Here’s the deal, when posting to social media from a brand account, keep things jolly and full of joy, but steer clear of using days of tragedy or remembrance of others to promote your own products and services. Respond with grace and take responsibility for any mishaps. Check out Part One of Social Consciousness if you need a refresher or contact us with questions – social media etiquette is one of our favorite subjects.