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Social media gaffes: They can happen to anyone

By Megan Totka

Missteps are increasingly becoming a part of the landscape for business social media. While unfortunate, those of us who run social media pages as businesses are still only human – and make human mistakes.

Some of these gaffes have more dire consequences than others. One of the most recent posts-gone-wrong was on the night of the first presidential debate. This particular post came from the KitchenAid brand and quickly became top business news. KitchenAid tweeted:

“Obamas gma even knew it was going 2 b bad! ‘She died 3 days b4 he became president’. #nbcpolitics”

Many people found this tweet to be rather offensive. It was shocking, too, coming from such a neutral brand as KitchenAid. We don’t typically expect the company that manufactures stand mixers to have a particularly strong political view. This tweet was broadcast to about 24,000 of KitchenAid’s followers before it was deleted from the company page.

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The worst small business social media marketing advice I’ve ever heard.

By Alexandra Reid

Update, May 24:

As you can see from the comments at the end of this post, people have suggested that the comments in this post attributed to Gary Vaynerchuk are not representative. In a Twitter conversation I had with Gary, he told me that the blog post on which I relied for this post misrepresented his presentation and certainly misrepresents his social media philosophy. I’ve invited Gary to weigh in here, and we certainly hope does. Please read this post in this context.

I read a blog post today that annoyed me, the content for which came from a presentation Gary Vaynerchuk gave to more than 600 small businesses and local chamber and association leaders at America’s Small Business Summit on Monday in Washington D.C. His said that small business owners must get on social media right away or else risk getting run over by the “wave” of innovation. It wasn’t his call to small business owners to get started on social media that raised my red flag. It was his sense of urgency, that small business owners should get on social media immediately without asking the right questions and laying out a sound strategy first. This is the ill-advised leap-before-you-look mentality that saps budgets and kills new marketing initiatives before they have had the chance to properly develop.

His advice?

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  • Luc Lalande : Hi Francis, thank you for the steady and keen eye on the development of this important project for the City. I share your view that open spaces in the building’s design will be critical components for encouraging spontaneous interactions between people. Integrating such spaces in the Innovation Complex sends the right signals to the community-at-large and not just the local startup ecosystem: everyone is welcomed! With respect to Patti’s comments about the arts sector, it would be worth bringing back to light that the Hintonburg-Mechanicsville area has emerged as the first Arts District in the City of Ottawa, housing many artist studios, performing arts studios, and media groups. While the 7 Bayview located Innovation Complex may cater to the entrepreneurial set, there is still considerable property on these lands that could, one day, be developed and capitalize on the area’s sizable artistic community. But perhaps the open spaces at the Innovation Complex can be equally accommodating for anyone who embraces creativity and entrepreneurship: artists and innovators alike.

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