Social Media Marketing Gone Wrong: Very Public Twitter Fails

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As much as there are numerous success stories on the use of Twitter in online marketing efforts, there are still a handful of Twitter marketing fails which can be singled out. Here are some of the most popular social media marketing attempts (via Twitter) gone wrong.

The Case of Radiohead and Their Scheduled Tweets

Last 2012, the popular British rock band, Radiohead was scheduled to have a concert in Toronto, Canada. Tickets were sold out and everyone was excited for the show and so as any proactive promoter would do, pre scheduled tweets were made for the show. But then, the outdoor stage constructed for the concert gave in before the show and took the life of one person and injured three others. The show was then cancelled. However, the tweet that was supposed to be sent during the concert was not.

The scheduled tweet was prompting fans in the concert to take pictures during the concert and compile an album which will be featured on instagram. The promoter needed to issue an apology after deleting the tweet.

Celebrities Making Mistakes

PR agencies were the first ones to adapt social media marketing as a tool in promoting their events and getting people on-the-know about their new campaigns and promotions. In the past, PR firms would ask professional writers to write lengthy press releases for media outlets in order to promote new products or notify people of any upcoming events.

Fast forward today, traditional press releases are slowly becoming a thing of the past, thanks to interactive social media platforms like Twitter. However, one PR company and one careless celebrity proved to be a bad mix. In a PR agency’s desire to promote their event, they asked the famous athlete Desean Jackson to tweet about how cool the event was.

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However, carelessness has taken its toll when Jackson tweeted the original message prompting him to tweet about the event as if he was on it even though he was not. Half a million followers received the tweet which became an embarrassing blow towards the PR agency and to the careless actor. Jackson managed to delete the twitter and replaced it with the intended message, but as always, the incident spread like a wildfire thanks to the social media.

A Bad Mix of Auto Companies and Auto-response

Big brands have their fair share of fails when it comes to their social media marketing strategy. It all began when Toyota was prepping up to promote a new model of their Camry line in last year’s Super Bowl. Fans who were merely tweeting about their favorite teams received an auto-response which can be aptly characterized as, well, spammy. Same thing happened when the automobile company Acura attempted to promote their brand in Jazz Fest 2012. Both companies issued an apology following the incident.


This is a guest post by Lena Svendsen!

Lena Svendsen started with a simple tech blog in the early 2000s and has expanded her scope to cover other emerging and relevant tech issues, more recently, about the use of social media platforms in optimizing and improving business strategies. Lena is now the marketing head of, a well-known online essay writing company. Get in touch with her via Google+.

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