The Biggest Social Media Marketing Mistakes Of 2011 All Happened On Twitter

mistake-iconIt used to be that some companies and high-profile people could screw-up in public and still not make a dent in their overall reputation. But social media changes that to a large degree: One mistake can mean worldwide attention and awareness, but not the kind that companies are usually seeking.

With that in mind, Advertising Age has taken a stab at documenting the biggest social media mistakes of 2011. And what really stands out is this: All of these happened on Twitter.

Here’s the list:

  • Weinergate – U.S. Congressman Anthony Weiner sends inappropriate photos to a woman in Seattle, later resigns
  • New Media Strategies uses an F-bomb in a tweet from @ChryslerAutos that criticized Detroit drivers
  • Kenneth Cole using Twitter to tie the uprising in Cairo to its new spring collection
  • Gilbert Gottfried losing his Aflac spokesperson role after tweeting jokes about the tsunami in Japan
  • Qantas Twitter content backfiring after its entire fleet was grounded a month earlier
  • GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons tweeting a video of himself shooting an elephant in Zimbabwe
  • Netflix announces Qwikster, but failed to get the @Qwikster Twitter name first
  • Ashton Kutcher criticizing Penn State University on Twitter after the school fired football coach Joe Paterno
  • Miami Heat owner Micky Arison violating NBA rules and getting fined $500,000 after tweeting about the NBA lockout
  • Ragu sauce using Twitter and YouTube to make fun of dads who can’t cook well

You can read more background on each episode on

And we want to know: What would you add or remove from the list of social media mistakes above? Comments are open.

(Stock image via Shutterstock. Used with permission.)

Related Topics: Channel: Social Media Marketing | Social Media Marketing | Top News | Twitter


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Marketing Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • Jeff Downer Indianapolis IN

    Oh. I think NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne’s tweets about breast feeding are worthy of being  included.

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