The Best and Worst Social Media Fails of 2017

We’ve all made mistakes when it comes to social media. Whether it’s uploading the wrong picture, misspelling a word or using an inappropriate gif, it’s bound to happen at some point – we’re only human after all.

However, 2017 has been notable for some of the most cringeworthy social media fails to ever exist. From people in power (you know who) tweeting out inappropriate tweets, to others simply not proofing their content, millions of followers have been watching on the sideline just waiting for the next social mishap to come along.

In no particular order, we wanted to share with you just a few of the most memorable social media fails of 2017.

Donald Trump retweets anti-muslim videos:

Ever since being elected as President of the United States, the ‘POTUS’ Twitter account, which has been run by Donald since January 2017, has been dropping in social relevance ever since. Posting an average of four controversial tweets per day,  nothing could prepare the world for when Mr Trump began to retweet a far-right group’s anti-Muslim videos on his Twitter profile in November. As imagined, Trump’s decision to share the videos was met with uproar on social media. When journalist and TV presenter Piers Morgan, who actually calls himself a “friend” of the president tweeted back: “What the hell are you doing?”, we knew the situation really, really bad – imagine having Piers Morgan as your moral compass… The story was covered widely in the press as this BBC article shows.


Social Media Fails 2017


Dove were accused of racism in the following campaign:

Personal care brand, Dove, got into hot water in October 2017 after their viral campaign showed an advert of a black woman taking her shirt off and turning into a white woman (we know). Soon after the launch, the brand was accused of racism over the online campaign and later admitted they had “missed the mark”. The advert depicted a black woman removing her top to reveal a white woman underneath, supposedly after using Dove body lotion. The white woman then removes her top and turns into a Middle Eastern woman. Shortly after the removal of the advert online, Dove, which is owned by Unilever tweeted: “An image we recently posted on Facebook missed the mark in representing women of colour thoughtfully. We deeply regret the offence it caused.” From this, brands may start to consider approaching campaigns more carefully, and will hopefully receive approval from others outside of their branding team, for clarity’s sake.  You can read more about the blunder here.

Social Media Fails of 2017


McDonald’s Black Friday Event Error

Hands up who felt sorry for McDonald’s when they messed up on Twitter recently?

Don’t lie – we know you’re lovin’ it. At first, it was considered to be a marketing stunt but then realisation set in that it just wasn’t the case. The company was planning on posting some Black Friday promotions, but instead, sent out an accidental scripted Tweet with no context and text saying **need copy and link**. Someone clearly forgot to proof their social beforehand and users were quick to catch on and retweet. The post has since been deleted.

Social Media Fails 2017


Pretty Little Thing’s New Year Fail

Women’s Fashion Clothing company ‘Pretty Little Thing’ were a bit too quick off the mark as they began celebrating 2018 before anyone else on the planet. A clear timing issue was flagged up to more than 1 million Facebook followers after being wished a ‘Happy New Year Huns’ in November. It’s great to see that brands are always thinking ahead when it comes to innovative social posting, but it might be wise for brands to double check their social posting schedule before any more are sent out prematurely.

Social Media Fails 2017


Twitter Users Furious After Waiting For Krispy Kremes

Considered both a PR and social media fail, Twitter users were left disappointed after the UberEATS app crashed during promoting a free Krispy Kreme giveaway on their social media channels. Krispy Kreme offered to give away 36,000 free doughnuts between 2pm – 6pm to the residents of London, but it seems too many people got wind of the deal and inevitably, the app crashed due to the traffic…

The promotion celebrated a partnership between Krispy Kreme and UberEATS – also known as Uber’s food delivery service. As the odds would have it, the app crashed owing to the amount of people trying to claim their free sugary treats. Although the gesture may have been sweet, the reaction on Twitter soon turned sour and people weren’t happy at all.

Social Media Fails 2017


Kids crash dad’s live TV interview

To round off this collection of social media blunders, we couldn’t leave without revisiting this final clip. Although technically it wasn’t a social media blunder, if there was an award for the world’s calmest dad during an interview, then this man would most certainly win all of the medals. Still seen as one of the most memorable TV moments of 2017, in March this year, Marion Kelly, the four-year-old daughter of an American associate professor, swaggered into the room during her dad’s big BBC interview, and it certainly got the world talking. Watch the video here:

If you’d like any advice on improving your business’s social media strategy, then do not hesitate to get in touch.

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