Warren Buffet famously said "it takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to destroy it." No where is this more true than in social media, where a company's long-standing reputation can be undone in a matter of minutes. But reputation management in social media isn't scary, and it certainly isn't new. Below are ten examples of companies who got it wrong in social -- and it all could have been avoided if they'd only listened to their mother.
10. Think before you speak.
When high-end retailer Celeb Boutique saw “#Aurora” trending on Twitter, they opted for tweeting their ‘Aurora’ dress, without realizing it referred to the Colorado theater shooting.
The Lesson? Check the hashtag. Or turn on a TV.
09. And if they told you to jump off a bridge, would you?
Retailers like Urban Outfitters, Gap, and American Apparel let their sales teams get the better of their judgment, offering online sales to “bored” customers affected by Hurricane Sandy.
The Lesson? Consider every aspect of your social media activity – just because something seems like a good idea for one group in the company does not mean it accurately reflects your brand.
08. Know who your friends are.
KitchenAid learned the hard way: make sure you know who has access to your corporate social accounts, and ensure they’re not able to mistakenly tweet a personal update.
The Lesson? Guard access to your corporate social accounts; your reputation depends on it.
07. You made your bed, now lie in it.
McDonalds cancelled its #McDStories Twitter campaign two hours after it launched, but the damage was done: rather than celebrate the restaurant’s food sourcing, the hashtag was hijacked by brand detractors.
The Lesson? Before launching a campaign, ask yourself, "how could this get away from us?" If you aren't able to answer that question, you aren't ready to launch the campaign.