2012’s Twitter Marketing Blunders

As we wave goodbye to 2012, it only seems right to take a look at last year’s terrible Twitter marketing strategies that have gone a little wrong. Though just a measly 140 characters, those few words have been the kiss of death for some leading brands. Using the wrong hashtag, picking the wrong moment or simply not asking the right thing, let’s hope their Twitter-failures are a warning to us all for 2013:

McDonald’s Ain’t Lovin’ It – at the beginning of 2012, the McDonald’s team started the year off with a Twitter marketing strategy that they thought would increase sales and get their fans talking about them. Well, it certainly had them doing the latter – but probably not the first. The #McDstories hashtag asked fans to share their favorite stories about the fast-food chain – which they were hoping would be positive ones. The hashtag became a quick and easy way for frustrated customers to vent their anger. Lesson: be wary of opening yourself up to comments, both positive and negative, and always make sure you’re ready to react to the twitter internet marketing stuff. 

Paying For Tweets – this year also saw high-profile celebs get their knuckles rapped for tweeting paid messages by big brands. The UK’s Snickers team was the first to get told off for paying British model, Katie Price, and premiership footballer, Rio Ferdinand to tweet ‘unusual’ tweets about world issues. Then to suggest a snickers had got them feeling right again. Lesson: Fake tweets can be sniffed out from miles away – celebrity endorsement should have no money connections if it’s going to work.

Read The News – sadly, 2012 saw a considerable number of tragedies across the world, from natural disasters to heart-breaking shootings. Some brands posted badly timed tweets that unintentionally tied with the events. Or, trying to make light of something that for the general public is an extremely serious issue. Just as Hurricane Sandy hit the US, Urban Outfitters made the following tweet: ‘This storm blows (but free shipping doesn’t!)’ Lesson: always keep an eye on the bigger picture (i.e. the news) and never rely solely on pre-planned Tweets.

Having a Twitter marketing strategy is a great idea, but just make sure yours doesn’t land you in hot water in 2013!

About the author: Christian Arno

Christian Arno is founder and CEO of Lingo24, Inc. He started the company in 2001 after graduating from Oxford University with a degree in languages. He has won numerous awards including HSBC Business Thinking and International Trade Awards (2010), and TAUS Excellence Award (2012) for innovative technology. He contributes to leading industry publications and has been featured on the BBC, in the Financial Times and other media around the world. Follow Christian Arno on:

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