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Online Marketing Fails from the Biggest Brands on Social Media – What Not to Do!

12th May 2016

Social media can be a brilliant online marketing tool if used in the right way. It can be used to promote your brand, help you push sales and easily answer customers enquires. Get your social media marketing right and it could mean amazing things for you and your company, but get it wrong, well… just don’t get it wrong! If you’re looking for examples on what not to do on social media, then here are a few companies you can learn from….


Earlier this year, McDonald’s tried to engage with their customers and encourage them to get involved with two promoted hashtags #meetthefarmers and #mcdstories. They were hoping that the hashtags would provoke heart-warming stories about their McDonald’s experiences; however it didn’t quite go to plan. What followed was a series of horror stories, about the food, staff, customers and anything else you could think of. Social media management is all about engagement; however McDonald’s didn’t quite get the engagement they were hoping for with this one. Bad move Ronald.



A seemingly innocent Q&A turned into an epic fail due to bad timing on British Gas’ part. The day they decide to host a twitter Q&A and answer their customers queries, was the same day they announced they were increasing their prices by 11%. I’m sure you know what’s coming! Their social media was bombarded with comments and questions all about the hike in prices. It was later discovered that out of the 16,000+ angry responses that British Gas received from their Q&A, 145 contained the word ‘death’ and 88 accused that of being ‘greedy’. This was unfortunate timing by British Gas and their online marketing most definitely needs a new strategy!



In January, Snickers hijacked the twitter accounts of Katie Price, Rio Ferdinand and other celebrities for a publicity stunt to promote their Snickers chocolate bar. Scouting for engagement and retweets, Katie Price’s Twitter was filled with seemingly out of character tweets as she discussed the Eurozone debt and other topical subjects. However, after a couple of tweets, she sent a final tweet explaining that she felt like herself again thanks to Snickers along with a staged photo with her and the well-known chocolate bar.

After the prank surfaced, many people accused the celebrities involved including Katie Price as being dishonest and misleading their fans. Although the marketing stunt received a worldwide publicity, twitter users weren’t happy, as they stated they didn’t follow the accounts for marketing campaigns. Rule number one: keep your customers happy!

online marketing


Kitchen Aid doesn’t have a huge presence when it comes to politics, so when kitchen aid tweeted this, it’s hard to understand the angle their online marketing team was coming from. Tweeting an insult about President Obama’s Grandma during one of the presidential debates seems a bit out of character for a homeware brand!

The tweet was quickly deleted and a grovelling apology was released, blaming the tweet on a member of their company. The tweet was meant to be posted on the personal handle instead of the Kitchen Aid twitter. Moral of the story: don’t let everyone know the password for the companies twitter. 


Sweetheart, Creative Agency Manchester can guarantee that you don’t have any blunders like this!

Sweetheart, Creative Agency, Manchester can make sure that your company is represented in the best way possible as our services include social media management in Manchester. We are here for any of your social media needs; we can provide creative and high energy ideas to get your name out there! Good social media management in Manchester is all part of a successful business; therefore why not let us help you get your name on the map!