1. In today's increasingly competitive and diverse market space, it's become nearly crucial for every brand to have a social media presence — and many have taken on that challenge with excellent results.

    From Oreo's widely-acclaimed Super Bowl blackout tweet to the viral "Ship My Pants" videos by Kmart, 2013 saw some brilliant moves from players across the digital marketing industry.

    And yet, while some made headlines for engaging fans in a positive way, many more were panned for doing the exact opposite.

    From the clueless and insensitive to the blatantly offensive, here are 10 of 2013's most spectacular social media marketing failures.
  2. 10. American Airlines's automated responses

  3. In February, a Twitter user named Ross Sheingold noticed that American Airlines' Twitter account had been responding to customers in a rather unusual way.

    Instead of addressing complaints fielding in its direction, the airline appeared to be thanking every consumer for its support — with the exact same message.

    As it turns out, the company was using an automated service to respond to those who messaged its account, provoking widespread mockery among Twitter users.

    Bank of America experienced a similar panning in July when tweeters noticed it appeared to be using an auto-responder as well.

    Lesson: Robo-tweets are never a good idea. Social media accounts should always be monitored by real humans for an authentic and accurate user experience.
  4. 9. J.P Morgan's #AskJPM campaign

  5. HA HA HA more of this please  #banks #jpmorgan #askjpm
    HA HA HA more of this please #banks #jpmorgan #askjpm
  6. In November, J.P. Morgan decided to host a Twitter chat using the hashtag #AskJPM.

    Unfortunately for the multinational financial services firm, many Americans users aren't very fond of big banks right now in the wake of 2008's financial crisis. 

    Instead of receiving honest questions for investment bankers as expected, J.P. Morgan saw a tidal wave of snark crashing down on them from around the world. 
  7. The chat was eventually aborted and the following message posted to the company's Twitter account.
  8. Lesson: Know the public sentiment surrounding your brand before attempting to engage openly on Twitter. Many social media users will be harsh with corporations when given the chance.
  9. 8. The Toronto Maple Leafs' #SeaOfBlue

  10. The Toronto Maple Leafs wrestled with a social media campaign gone wrong in December when they started feeding unfiltered posts with the hashtag #SEAofBLUE to their website's main page. 

    The hashtag appeared in the Canada-wide trends, but for all the wrong reasons. Some mischievous bloggers used the hashtag for criticism of the team, its player roster, its coaching and its management, while others simply posted foul and profane messages — all of which appeared on the front page of the company's website.
  11. MLSE eventually apologized for the "filter issue" in a tweet, but not before much damage had been done.

    Lesson: Know thy enemy and filter thy content! There's nothing internet trolls like more than easily messed-with campaigns.
  12. 7. Burger King's hacked Twitter account

    A hacker posing as McDonald's broke into Burger King's Twitter account in February, posting obscene messages and changing its profile picture to a McDonald's logo.

    The flurry of approximately 55 weird tweets and retweets only lasted about an hour before Twitter suspended the account, but the hack had already made international headlines.

    Burger King apologized for the incident in a statement later that day.

  13. Lesson: Keep your social media accounts secure by using strong passwords, changing them often, controlling access among your team and being wary of which third-party apps have access to your account.
  14. 6. SpaghettiO's Pearl Harbour tweet

  15. In a widely-circulated tweet published in December, the Campbell's Soup canned pasta brand SpahgettiO's wrote "Take a moment to remember #PearlHarbor with us" with a picture of its smiling cartoon mascot holding an American flag.

    The backlash was immediate, with many accusing the company of trivializing — or worse, attempting to capitalize upon — the 72nd anniversary of Japan's attack on the Pearl Harbour naval base. 

    At least 5,000 people retweeted the original message before SpaghettiO's deleted the tweet and apologized. The public continued to mock the brand with parodies of the ad and media coverage followed from around the world.

    Lesson: Don't try to capitalize on historic events, especially where tragedy is involved.
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