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5 important lessons to learn from Twitter fails of 2014

2 min, 4 sec read
16:00 PM | 12 June 2014
by Jim Compton-hall
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We're just over half way through 2014 and already Twitter has been flooded by brands, organisations and individuals getting it wrong. Many brands just don't get it "#LOL #WorldCup #Obama #Oscars #GameOfThrones" and then there are others who seem to be playing a game of "Who can offend the most people in 140 characters?"

Here's some of the worst Twitter mistakes of 2014 (so far!) and, because we like to be educational as well as entertaining, we've highlighted a lesson to learn from each one.

1. Dishonesty is definitely the worst policy

MasterCard offered press accreditation for The Brits to a Telegraph journalist in exchange for some promotional tweets. The journalist shared the offer and before long, MasterCard's hashtag #PricelessSurprises was being used against them.

Whether you're on Twitter or developing a TV campaign, being dishonest to your audience is a pretty big offence. Remember that everything comes out in the end.

2. Don't leave yourself logged in

Facebook users have suffered for this mistake for years but it still keeps happening. It seems H&M's Twitter account was left logged in on someone else's machine... a very confused someone else.

In the creative industries we deal with lots of private access and information. Letting someone else into a social media account is as big a no no as sharing the details of an upcoming piece of branding you're doing for a company.

3. It's not just your audience out there

Good old politicians, always completely oblivious to the workings of social media. Days before the European Election, UKIP decided it would be a good idea to start the hashtag #WhyImVotingUKIP. The results were pretty hilarious.

Be careful not to get your work banned by those very people you don't care about before your target audience even has a chance to see it. And remember that your audience could be swayed by others. If there's a million tweets attacking UKIP for every one that's positive, even the most devout followers might start questioning things.

4. A little research goes a long way

Look away now if you don't want to have nightmares. This is Happy, McDonald's blood curdling new mascot. You can imagine the reaction when they'd decided to announce him on Twitter.

A little research may have told McDonald's that Happy is a horrible monster that everyone will hate. Research can also help with other areas of the creative industries, such as informing your ideas, strategy and raising any red flags before such things go live.

5. Have some common sense

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