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The worst social media fails of 2016

Stephen Hobbs
16th October 2016

Anyone can do social media, right? It's simple. Find something funny/entertaining/thought-provoking (or ideally all of them), write a witty caption and fire it off into the ether. Easy.

Community management? Piece of cake. Organic engagement? Child's play. Viral memes? One a week, no problem.

But every now and again, brands, the press and even government organisations just get it wrong. And when they do, we're here to show them the error of their ways with a few short, sharp tips.

1. #OprahGoldberg or #WhoopiWinfrey?

Sometimes there just isn't time to ID every celebrity before you hit 'Post'…

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Top tip: It pays to check your facts.

2. Remember where you are

It always pays to check which account you're actually Tweeting from. Especially if you, you know, work for the U.S. JUSTICE DEPARTMENT.

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Top tip: Ne-e-ver forget where you're Tweeting from.

3. Choose your words carefully

The GOP's Senatorial Committee had some 'choice' words for Democrat and Iraq war veteran Tammy Duckworth. But managed to overlook the fact that Duckworth lost both her legs in combat…

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Top tip: Read, re-read, and read again

4. Don't rely on technology (too much)

Chatbots have huge potential, but let's not forget what happened with innocent, Microsoft AI Tay earlier this year.

A little human interaction took her from this:

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To this in 24 hours:

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And much, much worse, but we'll let you check that out for yourselves…

Top tip: Humans will try and break things. It's in their nature...

5. "You're a 6 at best"

The U.S. State Department for Consular Affairs clearly doesn't rate most Americans…

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Top tip: You don't always have to put a 'clever' cultural spin on good advice

6. Innuendo can go wrong very quickly

KFC Australia thought they'd have some fun with a new product line, but missed the mark spectacularly.

The Tweet was deleted an hour later, but not after it had been retweeted some 10,000 times.

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Top tip: Being risqué can be risky…

So there are just a few of our favourite social media fails from 2016 – let's not forget there's still time for these to be bettered – and with Christmas coming up, we wouldn't bet against it.

It's easy to gloat, but experience tells us that all of these errors could have been avoided with the right approval process and governance in place.

Get in touch on hello@mediablazegroup.com if you'd like to find out how.

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