Social Media: The Worst of 2011

by Caitlin Melvin January 27th, 2012 

What happens in social media…stays in social media.

keep calm


…NOT.

Ah, yes. Another great year has come to an end. And we can all sit back and reminisce on how social media has caused brands, and people total and utter embarrassment.

I love social media for myself, and also for brands and companies. I've been an advocate for it here, here, and here. But, I must say, that social media can also be damaging to a company, a brand, and a person when someone has 'accidently' misused it, or said something they wish they didn't. Or sent something they really REALLY shouldn't have.

I like to call it online verbal diarrhea. Gross I know. But, let's think back to the fluffy movie we all know, "Mean Girls" when Lindsay Lohan's character blurts out something she wished she hadn't and refers to it as 'verbal diarrhea'. You didnt mean to say it, it just came out.

This sort of thing happens a lot online. I'm focusing on Twitter because it's my favourite for social media mishaps. Even when you delete a Tweet you didn't mean to send – it still shows up in the feeds, and your followers will be quick to re-Tweet a damaging Tweet.

Let's look back on a few Twitter mistakes, shall we:

Dear Anthony Weiner,
You sent a semi-naked photo of yourself over Twitter. If you wanted to leave politics, I'm sure you could have found a better way. Not to mention – you've set the tone for other congress members who will now be much more conservative when Tweeting.

Anthony Weiner


Dear Kenneth Cole,
We love fashion, but when you discuss fashion and political disaster all in one Tweet, the 'reaction' is not going to be positive.

Kenneth Cole


Dear Chrysler,
Sending out the F-bomb in a Tweet from a big corporation is never a good idea. No matter how you use it, or what you are referring to – it will always sound trashy.

Chrysler


Dear Red Cross,
Teach your social media specialist to separate their personal Twitter account from their corporate Twitter account. Although – the drunken Tweet managed to bring a positive result in the end. (It was pretty funny I must admit)

Red Cross


Dear Gilbert Gottfried,
Breaking up is hard enough. Don't make it worse on yourself by taking an awful disaster and making a joke out of it. Break-ups and Tsunamis cannot be connected. In any way.

Gilbert Gottfried

A Lesson Learned

However upsetting, or hilarious these Tweets were – they also managed to bring out some true colours. If you are a token figure in the public, its incredibly important to learn proper online reputation management-you, know, in case someone "hacks into your account".

Happy New Year!

Caitlin Melvin

Caitlin works at Search Engine People. She loves internet marketing, and has a passion for social media. Caitlin is a former competitive cheerleader, a crazy cat lady, and a work-a-holic.

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2 Responses to “Social Media: The Worst of 2011”

  1. Hi Caitlin,

    Thanks for bringing this up. We are still in the transition and learning while 2011 put the transition into the next gear. There are few things which made me realized the worst of my on the social media e.g. on twitter I had made big noise of myself which is definitely a very bad of me and now I learn to listen to others too… likewise I made many mistakes on Facebook and LinkedIn but now I am getting experienced enough to not to continue with all the bad things which I have done during 2011.

    Can you write a guide on best ethics on social media for 2012?

  2. Caitlin Melvin says:

    Hi Sean,

    Thank you for your comment. Best Ethics on Social Media for 2012 sounds like a great topic for my next blog post! I'll try and have one up soon.

    Thanks again!