• Holiday Horror Stories (and how to avoid them)


Business owners know how easily things can go awry when it comes to managing social media sites.

For many of us, we spend a lot of time making sure we engage with our customers during the holidays. Whether it is sending out a holiday card or posting festive photos to social media, you make a conscious effort to put your best foot forward.

But what happens when efforts start to unravel? Below are some examples of when things go horribly wrong on social media.

Too Much Eggnog

Do your business social media accounts link to any personal accounts? If so, you may want to double check your posts and what acounts you’re posting to when consuming spiked eggnog.

Just take a look at what happened to the American Red Cross. After a night of drinking, an American Red Cross employee accidentally mixed up accounts and posted a tweet about getting drunk on the Red Cross Twitter page.

Chrysler experienced a similar crisis when an employee accidentally dropped the f-word on the corporation’s Twitter account rather than his personal Twitter by mistake. He was fired.

You might think you are in the clear if you’re simply “Liking” posts while scrolling. But remember, not all posts are straightforward and some may require a more thoughtful response. Make sure you’re thinking clearly and paying close attention when you’re responding to comments, Liking posts, and retweeting from company accounts. If you’re losing track of which account is which, it’s probably a good time to put down the eggnog and back away from the social networks.

Weathering the Winter Storm

If there is a big storm brewing and you’re thinking about promoting a sale or other special offer, you may want to hit the pause button until the storm passes.

During the time of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, many were focused on evacuation plans and community safety. Other companies, such as Urban Outfitters, were tweeting that they were offering free shipping.

At a time when so many people were focused on their safety and the possibility of losing their homes, the company appeared insensitive by trying to entice people to shop and making light of a serious situation.

When in doubt, avoid leveraging difficult or controversial situations to promote your brand. Using tragedy as a platform for unsympathetic messaging won’t do your business any favors. If you can’t say anything nice, steer clear of natural disasters and “trending” topics.

Scrooge Runs Your Social Media

If the person managing your social accounts is not in the holiday spirit, then maybe he or she isn’t the best person for the job.

Don’t let a bad mood or lack of holiday cheer negatively impact the mood of your audience. The owners of Amy’s Baking Company may have needed some extra seasonal cheer before taking their anger to social media channels.

The company received negative feedback on social media after appearing on an episode of Kitchen Nightmares, and flew off the handle with outrageous replies, earning themselves some extra negative attention. This was one great example of any publicity not necessarily being good publicity.

When Holiday Lighting Goes Dark

It’s not just the small businesses that have to worry about negatively lighting up social media. On September 29th, 2014 People Magazine published a pre-written obituary for Hollywood famed actor, Kirk Douglas. The problem? The actor is, in fact, very much alive.

The published headline read, “DO NOT PUB Kirk Douglas Dies.” You can bet that this wasn’t the early holiday present he was expecting.

Remember, when you are trying to light up social media this year, pay attention to what you are posting and ensure that it is accurate.

During the holiday season and all year long, it’s important to keep a close eye on what you’re posting online and where. Make sure you avoid these holiday horrors!

ThriveHive combines easy-to-use tools and expert guidance to help businesses stand out and get found online. Learn more about our guided marketing and advertising solutions here.

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