Social media advertising disasters

The calendar year wouldn't be complete without a few social media fails.

In 2012,plenty of big brands and organizations suffered serious backlashes on social networks like Twitter and Facebook for offensive tweets,questionable ad campaigns or controversial company statements. Some,like McDonald's,attempted good-natured social media campaigns that simply took unexpected turns. Others,like StubHub's and KitchenAid's Twitter accounts mistakenly send out shocking tweets.

If there's one lesson to take away from this year's fails,it's that brands need to be particularly careful when it comes to tying a promotion or post to a big,public event. Several of the businesses on our list were heavily criticized for posts relating to the presidential election and Hurricane Sandy,for example.

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Popular Q&A

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What is the value of advertising in the social media age?

It is important to remember that social media is still quite insular - the majority of the UK population are not engaged, and even the most avid social media junkies are still susceptible to TV/print/billboard advertising.
However, social media teaches us some important lessons about advertising: the most successful campaigns are personal rather than blanket, and use trusted viewpoints/spokespeople.

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