Mistakes come with the territory. Everyone makes them. Some do it more than others. Usually, the best way to get over a bad mistake is to not make it again. However when you are talking about social media mistakes it isn’t so easy to atone.
Lets take a look at a “mistake.” I take you back to the first Presidential debate between Romney and Obama. Obama gave credit to his grandmother for helping raise him and she passed away a few days before he became President. Within what seemed like milliseconds later @KitchenAidUSA (the company’s official Twitter account) tweeted: “Obamas gma even knew it was going 2 b bad! She died 3 days b4 he became president.” Twenty-five thousand followers received this very insensitive tweet. Worse yet it included a hashtag which included it on NBCs News social debate conversation. Lets just say if you went back to find that tweet right now you wouldn’t find it since it’s been deleted however it still lives – it will never completely be deleted. KitchenAide isn’t the first and they definitely won’t be the last to fall victim to social media gone bad.
Now lets take a look at a “non-mistake.” Since we used a big company for the “mistake” example lets bring it down to a small company, to show great ideas can come from anywhere. Canlis, a fine dining restaurant in Seattle, Washington, who easily rates 4 stars on Menuism.com, marked their 60th birthday by running a contest where winners were able to dine at 1950’s prices. The founders, brothers Mark and Brian Canlis used Twitter and Facebook to promote their birthday contest. They took signed menus from 1950 and hid them around the city. Starting 50 days prior to the big 6-0 they would hide one menu and provide clues via twitter and Facebook on it’s location. Each day was a new location, new clues. The first person to find the menu daily won a 1950 priced dinner. Asking yourself what made this a “non-mistake”? Well, a contest like this shows thought went into it’s development as well as the execution. It lasted a good duration, enabling interest and participation. It also encouraged repeat visitors to their sites. My favorite reason – there were multiple winners.