Software // Social
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12/6/2013
09:06 AM
Kristin Burnham
Kristin Burnham
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10 Worst Social Media Meltdowns Of 2013

Social media can be a marketer's best friend or worst enemy. Consider the year's social media-fueled nightmares.
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Applebee's
Restaurant chain Applebee's fired a waitress in St. Louis after she posted a photo of a customer's receipt that went viral on Reddit. Posting the receipt, on which the patron -- a local pastor -- wrote 'I give God 10% why do you get 18?' violated corporate policy, the company said. 
In an attempt to respond to the news coverage and share its side of the story, Applebee's posted a message on its Facebook page, part of which said: 'Our Guests' personal information -- including their meal check -- is private, and neither Applebee's nor its franchises have a right to share this information publicly.' 
The problem, which thousands of Facebook followers noted: Just two weeks prior, the restaurant posted a picture of a note from a guest that featured the guest's name. Applebee's promptly deleted that photo, adding fuel to the angry customer's fire.

Applebee's
Restaurant chain Applebee's fired a waitress in St. Louis after she posted a photo of a customer's receipt that went viral on Reddit. Posting the receipt, on which the patron -- a local pastor -- wrote "I give God 10% why do you get 18?" violated corporate policy, the company said.

In an attempt to respond to the news coverage and share its side of the story, Applebee's posted a message on its Facebook page, part of which said: "Our Guests' personal information -- including their meal check -- is private, and neither Applebee's nor its franchises have a right to share this information publicly."

The problem, which thousands of Facebook followers noted: Just two weeks prior, the restaurant posted a picture of a note from a guest that featured the guest's name. Applebee's promptly deleted that photo, adding fuel to the angry customer's fire.

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Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Ninja
12/14/2013 | 10:06:44 AM
Re: British Airways
tkeller, 

"I think BA simply has poor customer service so to expect them to do well on Twitter will require a much more basic improvement on their part."

I agree. I have friend who had an awful experience with BA. They lost his suit from the BA lounge. He had a long email discussion about the matter, which I read, and it was going from bad to worse. Too long of a story to tell here, but the point is as you said in the quote.

-Susan
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Ninja
12/14/2013 | 9:25:21 AM
Re: Vent elsewhere
Mak, 

Yes, the London Luton Airport probably hired a first grader. Although so many times small kids have more common sense than adults that I am not sure about this. Being an adult doesn't necessarily mean being smarter, or having common sense. 

-Susan
Kristin Burnham
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Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
12/13/2013 | 10:04:37 AM
Re: Great List...
I still think it comes down to knowing your audience. Social media managers should have a thorough enough understanding of their fans and followers to know how they'll react to a post.
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Ninja
12/13/2013 | 7:01:43 AM
Re: Great List...
@kristen the thing is that some posts that appear really bad in retrospect may have been considered perfectly fine by the powers that be until the backlash comes in. Sometimes it's not even the posts themselves but the reactions they bring on, like when McDonald's campaign inspired a lot of negative tweets about their products. 
Kristin Burnham
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Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
12/12/2013 | 10:20:10 PM
Re: Great List...
It's truly amazing how some posts -- by big corporations -- make it through. Or perhaps there needs to be an approval process before since something is posted since it appears that some people just lack common sense.
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Ninja
12/10/2013 | 4:42:24 PM
Re: Vent elsewhere
Mak, 

Yes, yes. The London Luton Airport left the Twitter account open to the local kindergarten that day.

-Susan  
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Ninja
12/10/2013 | 4:39:16 PM
Re: Vent elsewhere
Shane, 

Oh, what a confusion! It was more to clarify what I had written. :) 

-Susan 
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Ninja
12/10/2013 | 4:37:34 PM
Re: Great List...
Ariella, 

When you think it can't get worse there is an SpaghettiO with the flag that proves otherwise. And it took a team to come up with that? Ha!

-Susan 
mak63
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mak63,
User Rank: Ninja
12/10/2013 | 4:04:33 PM
Re: Vent elsewhere
Yes, meditation helps get things in perspective.

I agree with Epicurious being one the worst. Don't forget the London Luton Airport. It seems that a child wrote that tweet.
tkeller852
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tkeller852,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/9/2013 | 4:44:14 PM
British Airways
 
BA doesn't even do well with their other customer interfaces. I do not do twitter or facebook (I'm and old guy) so I attempted to deal with a problem I considered serious via email. 

They had to find me a new flight from Londen to Phoenix because weather got my connecting flight into Heathrow late.  They put me on a next day flight but did not honor the seat assignment I had paid a premium for.  I informed their agent that I paid for that because sitting for extended time withiout extending my legs resulted in physical pain.  The result was that I experienced physical pain for a few hours to get home.  Their response to my email came back about six weeks later and was simply a form letter format refunding me the seat premium.  I don't think they even refunded me the full amount of that but I am so disgusted I will not follow up further.

I think BA simply has poor customer service so to expect them to do well on Twitter will require a much more basic improvement on their part.
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