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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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Recent Comments

  • 5 Ways to Engage With Your Brand Voice - icuc.social : [...] “A strong company voice on social media should emphasize the company’s values, objectives and key differentiators that set it apart from its competitors. These can be expressed in the tone of the communication and the content that is shared with community members and the target audience.The best social media voices are communal, grammatical, dialectical, authentic, original, contextual, relevant, timely, persistent, responsive, helpful, generous and more informal. A company’s social media voice should only be changed if absolutely necessary and should maintain all of these qualities. Any change should be preceded by lots of information explaining the change to community members to ensure they know it is deliberate and that the company isn’t suffering from some form of instability, which jeopardizes relationships.” [@TechAlly, Francis Moran & Associates – via Francis Moran & Associates] [...]

  • Stephen Murray : Interesting article. I am close to finishing a book titled "Davis and Goliath - One Inventor's Struggle with the Mismanagement and Theft of Intellectual Property." Davis in my book is W.R. Davis Engineering. "Goliath" is the Canadian Department of National Defence. The intellectual property is an infrared signature suppression system to protect warships and tactical aircraft from being targetted by heat seeking missiles. I was a public servant co-inventor in this story. As was the case in the biblical story "David and Goliath," Davis did indeed slay Goliath. Davis is wealthy today. The inventors and the Crown got nothing. But the Crown's negligent acts were to blame for most of outcome. Everything that could have gone wrong in the story did go wrong. My book may interest you. Hope to have it published by year end.

  • Dan Rather’s Words of Wisdom for the PR profession | Return On Reputation : [...] that you are serving a higher purpose than just serving your clients – you are serving public interest and our nation’s [...]

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