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3 Lessons to Learn From Other Business’s Social Media Mistakes

Jeffrey Lambert
Mar 10, 2020 12:44:19 PM



Social media has changed how humans interact. The world is smaller, and both people and brands have a closer connection than ever. More than 3.5 billion people check at least one social media account every day. Almost 45% of the world’s population! (Oberlo)

But if your company is going to use social media, it’s important to take the time to learn how each platform works. All are NOT created the same, and audiences differ too!

Here are some examples of companies who didn’t take the time to research and build their digital marketing skills and paid a costly price for their mistakes.


Blackberry Logo

Failure #1: Blackberry

Once the king of the smartphone industry, Blackberry is now a shell of its former self. In 2015, the company attempted to break back into the mainstream with a new phone model. The problem? The company didn’t pay attention to the details.

Blackberry unveiled an image of their new smartphone on Twitter. The problem? Twitter identifies what device uploads a picture, no matter if its a personal or business account.

Screen Shot 2020-03-10 at 12.13.46 PM

The picture was very clearly uploaded not from a Blackberry, but from an iPhone!

The company tried to smooth the mistake over, but the company’s grand comeback had been sabotaged right from the start.

Lesson to Learn:

What’s the moral of the story? Make sure you always check the details of a post before publishing. Make sure you know how each platform treats your content’s information to prevent any mistakes like Blackberry had to deal with.


McDonalds Logo

Failure #2: McDonald's

In 2012, McDonald’s decided to be a “cool” brandby trying a new social media tactic. They created the hashtag #McDStories and requested user feedback about their experiences.



McDonald’s underestimated the streak of negativity around their brand, and thousands of users submitted experiences about poor customer service, health problems, and sublevel treatment of workers.

Lesson to Learn:

What can your brand learn from this mistake? Don’t ask for input unless you’re sure of what you’re going to get. Interaction is important, but frame the narrative to encourage positive interaction.


US Dept of Ed Logo

Failure #3: The U.S. Department of Education

In 2017, the U.S. Department of Education published a photo celebrating the birthday of a learning advocate, WEB DuBois. Sounds nice, right?

Screen Shot 2020-03-10 at 12.25.45 PM


The problem was in the message itself, which spelled his name wrong! The department that overseas reading, writing, and grammar apparently couldn’t handle their own social media account.

The company apologized, but the gaffe did nothing to help the department’s reputation.

Lesson to Learn:

What can we learn from this mistake? Always check to ensure your messages have proper spelling and grammar. The details matter, so make sure to re-read and have someone else verify your work before hitting that “publish” button.


Social Media

Don't Let History Repeat Itself. Train Your Organization Properly!

Social media missteps litter the pages of business history. Don't let you company get added to the list. Ensure your staff is properly trained in using social media, including posting strategies, optimization techniques, and differences between the major platforms.

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