Social Media Do's & Don'ts - Natural Disasters

by: Adam

Whoa, whoa, whoa! What did you just post? Take a step back… what were you thinking?  That wasn’t such a good idea… but look over here. That is what you should have done… see how much better that is?

Welcome to my blog! I would like to introduce you to the first post of my Social Media Do’s and Don’ts blog. I will be posting as often as possible to help make you and/or your business aware of the social media don’ts that can ruin your company, and provide you with successful ways to use your social media accounts. Be sure to check back and get all the information you possibly can.

Today’s Social Media Don’ts is using a natural disaster to advertise your products or services. Would you like to end up on the top 5 social media disasters? I highly doubt it. Take a look at these three companies that didn’t realize what a bad idea it was.

Last month when hurricane Sandy frightened millions, many companies took the opportunity to advertise their products and services by connecting it to the storm. These three made it into the top 5 and top 10 social media disasters of 2012.

Immediately after the posts went up and email blast was received, customers and clients following the companies were very unhappy. All of the companies caught in this advertising disaster the Gap, President’s Choice and American Apparel, had their accounts flooded with replies criticizing their post saying it was, “awful” and “distasteful” for making light of a hurricane that had already killed more than one hundred people.

Both the Gap and Presidents Choice made secondary posts apologizing for their previous, “insensitive” post just after deleting it.

Are you still thinking it wasn’t that bad of an idea? Take a look at some of the responses these companies received.

And lets be honest, we know that you’re smart enough to make sure not to do this. But are you expected to never advertise when a natural disaster is affecting people? This is absolutely not the case. As your Social Media Do for this blog, post separately. If you would still like to mention all of those that you hope stay safe inside by all means do. However then make a second post, hours later in the day with your advertisement completely separate from the storm.  Chances are, with a regular email coming to their computer or mobile device, they will keep occupied by going online and viewing your products and services.  This makes it seem as if you are sincerely concerned for those who are affected, even if you’re not…. we won’t tell ;).

Be sure to check back for more Social Media Do’s and Don’ts so that you can avoid disasters like this.