5 Social Media Fails Your Business Can Learn From

November 27, 2017

Social media fails can break a business, but the one good thing that comes out of them is that they do allow us to learn.

The average person spends almost two hours on social media per day (stats from Social Media Today). To the PR team at River & Bear, that’s nothing, but basically we all spend a lot of time online.

So it’s no surprise people make mistakes, whether they’re spelling errors, uploading the wrong picture or scheduling a post for the wrong day. But when it happens on a large scale, to a global corporation, customers can have a laugh, but the brand could be jeopardized forever…

We’ve rounded up the top 5 social media fails your business can learn from:

1. Prue Leith leaking the winner of the Great British Bake Off 2017

To some of us, this fail is still rather raw in our hearts. Prue Leith was in another time-zone when she scheduled her congratulations to 2017 Bake Off winner, Sophie Faldo. She scheduled it for 10:37pm which was in fact 10:37am on the day of the final. Yes she apologised, but we’re still counting this as one of the top five.

2. McDonald’s rinses President Trump

Back in March, McDonald’s tweeted, “You are actually a disgusting excuse of a President and we would love to have Barack Obama back, also you have tiny hands.” Uh-oh. Well it wasn’t McDonald’s itself, but some very experienced hackers. McDonald’s took it down within minutes, but it goes to show how even corporate accounts can be hacked.

3. Whoop(s)i Goldberg

Total Beauty, a style blog with over ten thousand Twitter followers, was live tweeting on the night of the 2016 Oscars, when they tweeted a picture of Whoopi Goldberg, confusing the Sister Act-star with Oprah Winfrey. Awkward.

4. Seoul’s shocking skincare ad

Early last year, Thai skincare company, Seoul Secret, released an advertisement for skin-whitening pills with the slogan “white makes you win”. The problem with that campaign doesn’t really need explaining, does it? After the 50-second video went viral, the company quickly apologised and removed it.

5. Adidas chooses poor wording

Now this one is down to poor choice of words. After the 2017 Boston marathon, The official Adidas Twitter account tweeted, “Congrats, you survived the Boston Marathon!”, which for some, recalled the images of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. They apologised and took it down very quickly.


#Fail, right? If these social media fails have got you thinking about the amount of time you don’t have and the experience you need to be dedicating to your own social channels, you can contact our digital experts at River & Bear. Let us give you some advice or take part in one of our social media workshops.


Scroll to Top