We love a good social media mistake (when it doesn't happen to our clients or us). We especially love the predictable antics that take place as soon as the mistake is noticed. It seems some people take it personally and feel the need to spew venom toward the brand. Many times you'll see followers turn in to the HR department and make a proclamation that the brand should "fire the intern." Little do they know that large brands have social media teams that do the work and mistakes do happen.
The latest and greatest example of one of these mistakes where mayhem ensued was McDonald's Black Friday tweet. McDonald's didn't update a templated Tweet and posted it with the ****Need copy and link**** still visible. An obvious mistake, but a few things happened after that.
McDonald's owned the mistake. They didn't delete the post. They embraced it by letting us know they hadn't had their McCafe yet. It was an excellent save. Their other option, deleting the Tweet, would have likely caused more of an "incident" as the screenshots of the original Tweet would have made their way around the Internet causing McDonald's to lose more control of the narrative then they did.
Here Comes Wendy's
Now the real fun begins. Wendy's social media team took this as an opportunity to take a swipe at McDonald's and received a positive reaction from the Twitterverse.
Wendy's successfully rode the momentum of the McDonald's Tweet and engaged their followers along the way.
So what are the takeaways here from social media campaigns?
1) Make sure there are editorial procedures in place so that all posts are edited and approved before sending them out. This can be done using social schedule tools like Hootsuite, Buffer, AgoraPulse or Zoho.
2) Own the content. There is always a way to spin it to gain back the respect of your finicky followers and casual observers.
3) If there is an opportunity to slide into a conversation with some nonabusive wit you can garner some extra attention at no cost.
4) Engage with your followers. If they are engaging with you, engage back. This will make for a deeper relationship with your audience.