Happy Halloween! This time of year brings to mind all that is spooky and scary, whether it’s ghosts, goblins or ghouls. But what’s more frightening than a major marketing function gone horribly wrong? In the spirit of Halloween, we’re highlighting some of the most famous marketing mishaps from the last year– and how you can avoid them at your company.
This February, Burger King got quite the fright when their Twitter account was hacked. Not only had the hacker changed all of their imagery, and even their name, to McDonalds, they tweeted inappropriate messages to all of the fast food company’s followers. Our top tips for avoiding a hair-raising hack like this on your social media platforms and/or website: create secure and diverse passwords across all platforms, spot check frequently and backup your data.
Social media can be a scary place, even if no one hacks into your company accounts. Taco Bell learned this the hard way when one of their employees posted a picture of himself licking a stack of taco shells and it went viral, creating a spine-chilling scandal for Taco Bell’s PR reps. Spooky situations like this can be avoided at your company by creating a social policy for your employees; let them know what you expect to see (and not to see) on their social media and lay out the consequences for breaking this policy. If a scandal like this should arise, follow Taco Bell’s lead: apologize early and apologize often. Let your fans know that the employee’s actions are not condoned by your company and that you have taken steps to rectify the situation.
Facebook must have been paralyzed by fear earlier this month because many users and business owners found that the site’s functions had frozen: they couldn’t post statues or comments, like others’ posts, upload photos or send messages. This outage showed business owners that some eerie events are outside of their control – making them that much scarier! Calm your nerves by following these steps: be in the know and stay up on any news from social platforms and other service providers that you use, create a contingency plan and educate your employees on the plan, and leverage other platforms when one goes dark.
In July, Networks Solutions was hit with a DDoS attack that impacted countless webmasters, including ourselves and our clients. Though this situation is downright creepy, we were able to gain control and keep our clients informed by taking to social media. In our digital age, social platforms are often the best way to keep up with news during hair-raising happenings such as this!