Monday, August 11, 2014

How Not to Use Social Media for Your Business

By Erin Quinlan

Social media is a great thing to use for your business, but there are definitely wrong ways to use it.

Want to make sure that never happens to you? Let TheSilent Partner Marketing handle all your social media needs.

Here are some examples of how not to use social media for your business.

When Kmart revealed that it would be open earlier than ever on Thanksgiving and would stay open through all of Black Friday, customers complained about the ethics of the decision. In response, the Kmart social team responded with over 100 robot-like statements. Ever heard of having personality and showing followers that there is person behind the account?

Few things hurt a brand more than an accusation of racism. So even though no one is sure if this tweet from Home Depot was indeed racist or simply stupid, the fact that people on Twitter were upset made corporate delete the tweet, apologize for two days, and fire the social media agency responsible.

After the Boston Marathon bombing, cooking site Epicurious thought they could help people calm down by promoting some recipes on Twitter. Just as a note, when there is a 
national tragedy, do not use it to promote your products.

A few hours after the Aurora shooting, the NRA tweeted, “Good morning, shooters. Happy Friday! Weekend plans?” It may not have been intentional, but when something this tragic happens, postpone your scheduled tweets if they could be controversial.

Also during the Aurora shooting, Celeb Boutique tweeted, “#Aurora is trending, clearly about our Kim K inspired #Aurora dress ;) Shop:” because they saw “Aurora” trending. While it was not intentional, it doesn’t take much effort to check why a hashtag is a trending topic.

Tweeting from the wrong account – the company account versus the personal account – is also a common mistake. But really, take a couple extra seconds, pay attention to the details, and make sure you’re on the right account. Chrysler once tweeted, “I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to f****** drive.” After this social media manager dropped the f-bomb, New Media Strategies (Chrysler’s agency) was fired.

Another thing to make sure you don’t do is go on a crazy, expletive laden rant like Amy's Baking Company in Scottsdale, Arizona did after being featured in a particularly grueling episode of Gordon Ramsay's "Kitchen Nightmares." When the episode prompted a wave of negative feedback, the restaurant's two owners took to Facebook in a legendary rant.

Want to make sure you never have these issues?

Give The SilentPartner Marketing a call at 866-432-6456 or e-mail Kyle Reyes at and we can help you out.


Erin Quinlan is the Content Marketing Manager of The Silent Partner Marketing, a boutique marketing firm focused on helping businesses grow in an age of exploding technology. You can find The Silent Partner Marketing on Google+Facebook, and Twitter