No one is perfect, we completely understand that and, managing the social media accounts of huge fashion brands must have its stressful moments. Social media holds a power like no other, news and mistakes are passed from pillar to post and there’s sometimes no way of stopping it!
Here at Hit Search, we believe that hindsight is a wonderful thing. So we think you can learn from these fashion brands’ big mistakes across social media.
1. American Apparel
My oh my was this an, ‘I hope the earth swallows me up’ moment for one poor American Apparel employee. In celebration of Independence Day 2014, the fashion brand took to their Tumblr account to share a simple picture of a firework display. What was actually uploaded? A picture of the 1986 Challenger Space Shuttle explosion - which killed all crew on board. Coupled with the hashtags #cloud and #smoke, this must have been a very distressing and tense few moments for the American Apparel followers.
The brand issued a public apology, explaining that the employee who posted the image, had been born after the event and therefore did not recognise the picture. Unfortunately, it was too late and the company received a torrent of abuse across social media.
Tip: Conduct thorough research before posting anything on social media. Once it’s out there, the negative brand perception can follow you around forever.
2. Victoria’s Secret
Back in October 2014, the Victoria’s Secret campaign called “The Perfect ‘Body’” received a flurry of negative comments through use of the hashtag ‘#iamperfect’. The campaign suggested that the ‘perfect body’ is that of the models on the billboard ad itself. Some have criticised their campaign stating it promotes an ‘unhealthy and damaging message’, particularly for young girls.
Tip: It’s really important to get focus group feedback. The more opinions you can gather, the better. In this case, Victoria’s Secret thought it was obvious that “The Perfect ‘Body’” was their new collection name. Obviously, the social community didn’t think so!
Back in October 2012, post-tropical cyclone, Sandy, caused a path of devastation through the Caribbean and up the East Coast of the United States of America. So, when Gap sent out this insensitive tweet: “All impacted by #Sandy, stay safe! We’ll be doing lots of Gap.com shopping today. How about you? […]’ This, rightly so, sparked outrage amongst their social media community.
Tip: Promoting your online channel is absolutely fine, just don’t couple it with a natural disaster post! It’s simple, really.
Obtaining Donald Trump as a spokesperson must have been a dream come true for Macy’s – think of the brand exposure! Unfortunately, the relationship turned sour after Trump offered to donate $5 million, in return for President Obama’s passport application and college records. Macy’s Twitter and Facebook pages received so many negative comments surrounding the issue, they had to end their professional relationship with Trump.
Tip: This incident highlights exactly how much power lies within the social media communities. It’s important you listen to your followers, if you don’t listen, then they could damage your brand’s perception in a heartbeat.