All of these “social media fails” from 2012 fall into one of three categories:
- No one funny was in the room: Most of these “hashtag hijacking” examples could have been avoided if there was someone in the room whose unofficial job it was to be annoying and point out all the ways things could go really wrong really fast.
- Stupid mistakes: Don’t use the same tool to publish to your personal and work-related social media accounts. Ever. And make sure you have someone who can read a calendar and make sure they’re not saying something stupid on an important day.
- Possibly legitimate mistakes: Sorry to be the voice of reason, but not everyone can be watching the news at every single moment to make sure a Tweet they just published or have scheduled is going to be taken very badly. People go into meetings, they go to the bathroom and so on and things happen. Yeah, this is part of the argument against any sort of auto-scheduling of social media updates, but that’s not really a legitimate option for a number of reasons.
Social media is never going to be without these sort of facepalm moments. The best you can hope for is to minimize the odds of being made into a case study.