Biggest Brand Social Media Mistakes

Written by - 26/06/2015

We’ve all been in the position of making a social media slip up at some point in the past, whether that be a typo or incorrect grammar, but some mistakes have more consequences than others. I have found some of the biggest blunders made by some of the biggest businesses, from incredibly unfortunate to downright hilarious.


Tesco couldn’t have timed this much worse as it was posted just as the horse meat scandal came to light. They followed this up with “I’m terribly sorry. That tweet was scheduled before we knew of the current situation. We’d never intend to make light of it.”

During a Radiohead concert back in 2012, a stage collapsed ahead of the show resulting in one death and others injured. Then this scheduled tweet asking for fans to share their photos was posted and remained visible for 45 minutes.

‘#WhyIStayed’ was trending on Twitter with thousands opening up about domestic violence. DiGiorno Pizza decided to join in without realising the context of the trend and soon had a flood of replies criticising them for making light out of a serious situation. It seems it was a genuine mistake and they made an effort to reply and apologise to each tweet they received.

A former HMV social media team resorted to tweeting from the company account after finding out they had been made redundant. The live updates were being published from their headquarters whilst the executives were unable to figure out how to delete the posts.

Just hours after the shooting in a Colorado movie theatre which killed 12 people, this unfortunate scheduled tweet caused a lot of controversy before the tweet was quickly deleted. Although it was clear that the post was written in advance, that didn’t stop the amount of publicity this single Tweet received.

One of McDonald’s campaigns backfired when they took to Twitter with the hashtag ‘#McDStories’, aiming to get people to share their experiences. They soon noticed their mistake when people exposed their not so positive stories and used the tag to rant about the company which was soon shared all over the web.

The following post was removed almost immediately but not before a ton of backlash resulting in the social media agency responsible being fired. This seemingly innocent tweet advertising a football match was published without thought and was seen by many as racist. Home Depot apologised for the incident and took action to resolve the issue.

An unfortunate sequence of words lead to one of the funniest album launches to date. The next tweet used ‘#SusanBoyleAlbumParty’ to clear things up but it was too late – what has been seen cannot be unseen. It’s still unsure whether this was a genuine naive mishap or whether it was a deliberate ‘accident’ to gain more press.