We're soon to be launching a new course on the risk in social media. Social media is a brilliant tool, and when it's used correctly it can be hugely powerful and really help the success of an organisation. On the other hand, it opens a lot of companies up to be vunerable to public scorn. We've taken a look at some of the best and worst attempts at social media campaigning in our blog this week!

The Blunders
1. British Gas
British Gas made a big mistake when they timed a Twitter Q&A campaign on the same day they raised their prices by 10p. The hashtag #AskBG received a torrent of sarcasm and quips as disgruntled customers took to Twitter...

 

2. Tesco
The very same day as Tesco was revealed to be selling horsemeat, whoever was in charge of their social media accounts forgot about a vital tweet that had been auto-scheduled for that evening. The tweet, which could be seen by all their 600,000 strong followers, seemed to be making a very inappropriate joke...

 

3. HMV
HMV found themselves in a very tricky situation when they forgot to think about all the repercussions when they began a mass firing. Included in the group of people being let go, was someone who had access to the social media account and started to live-tweet the whole thing...

 

4. British Airways
Airline giants, British Airways, faced a lot of ridicule after it took them several hours to respond to a customer complaint tweet. Despite the fact that social media is always active, and the company flies people worldwide 24/7, British Airways responded a tweet to let everyone know the 'opening hours' of their news feed...

 

5. Starbucks
Starbucks met a lot of backlash from angry customers when they were found to be using a tax avoidance scheme. It's no surprise that the public went to Twitter to rant. At the time, Starbucks had sponsored the Christmas ice rink outside the Natural History Museum and exhibited a giant screen where live-tweets using the hashtag #spreadthecheer would be displayed. However, no one was there to regulate which tweets would appear on screen...

 

The Brilliant

1. Paypal
The online payment company made a splash on Valentine's Day when it promoted its anti-valentines campaign and encouraged users to spend on themselves instead. The campaign was light hearted and used the hashtag #TreatYourself. The post "Who needs a boyfriend when your have a PayPal account?" has been one of the most successful tweets for user engagement...

 

2. Ben & Jerry's
Ben & Jerry's are well known (after their delicious ice cream) for promoting Fair Trade. This is why they introduced 'Fair Tweets', a simple and brilliant idea. Tweeters go to the platform and write in their tweet as normal and then Ben & Jerry's will auto-populate the rest of the tweet, taking unused characters to encouraging Fair Trade...

 

3. Samsung
Okay, so strictly speaking this wasn't an extremely clever marketing stunt from Samsung. But Ellen DeGeneres' famous Oscar tweet still provided a lot of welcome attention for the mobile brand. It quickly became the most retweeted posts of all time...

 

4. Oreo
Oreo's speedy response to the Super Bowl blackout has made it one of the best marketing campaigns Twitter has ever seen. Oreo proved just how instant social media is and how important it is to be in the moment with the people you're trying to connect with. Their skilful use of the social network platform really worked to their advantage...

 

5. Red Bull
Red Bull famously sponsors extreme sporting events, teams and individuals. And the world had seen nothing like their Red Bull Stratos Mission, in which they sent skydiver Felix Baumgartner to jump from space. Red Bull streamed the event live on YouTube and the audience reached over 8 million, setting a record for being the most watched Live-Streamed event on YouTube ever...


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