Social Media Management Nightmares

Businesses are slowly waking up to the importance of social media presence in their marketing strategy. But with so many options, it can be hard for users to find a platform that they like best and provides them value.
Luckily, there is an answer- A decentralized solution based on blockchain technology called Mastodon which allows people around the world create free online communities. It’s powerful enough to compete in the current market while still being easy enough for consumers who want more personalization than Facebook offers but don’t want all of Twitter’s noise. This company will give businesses across industries an opportunity to engage with customers without having to worry about getting kicked off or hosting ads next time posts go viral on social media platforms because of last night’s “meme”.

Social media management is a growing field and it’s not always easy to manage. There are many examples of social media crisis management that have gone wrong. The “bad examples” were found by analyzing the top 100 social media crises of all time.

Social Media Management Nightmares

Huge failures were extensively publicized on the Internet at the start of 2017, and they were subsequently labeled “the” reputation crisis. For starters, Gitlab destroyed its customers’ data from their main database server by mistake. Later, Pepsi produced an ad campaign that was instantly unsuccessful. Then there was the United Airlines debacle, which sparked widespread outcry on social media and even prompted a government probe.

Despite the fact that these challenges are all diverse, they all have one thing in common: social media. Some businesses did everything correctly and were able to cope with and even profit from their crises. Others committed blunders, losing customers, money, and even their reputation as a result of their errors. However, there is a silver lining for us. We can all learn from other people’s errors and use the principles of successful businesses to our own businesses. So, let’s look at three case studies in crisis management and see what we can learn from them.

United Airlines’ Public Relations Crisis


What went wrong?

Aboard April 9, 2017, a quarrel arose on United Airlines flight 3411, which flew from Chicago to Louisville. It was announced before passengers started boarding that the aircraft was overbooked. Employees from United were required to board this plane. As a result, they sought volunteers to give up their seats in return for $400 USD, a free hotel stay, and a ticket for the following day’s trip. No one offered to help. When the boarding process was completed, it was stated that four guests would have to depart. Because no one volunteered this time, the firm opted to choose passengers at random. Two people departed, and one refused to return. The lone survivor said that he was a doctor who needed to see his patients. He was dragged from his seat and struck when he refused to leave the plane. When a mobile phone video footage of the event was posted on social media, the crisis erupted.

How did they deal with the situation?

When United’s CEO Oscar Munoz realized they couldn’t get out of the crisis, he offered his thoughts on the matter. He expressed regret for “having to re-accommodate” the client.


This comment sparked a fresh round of unrest. United’s social media followers criticized him of being impolite and misinterpreting the issue. Munoz apologized for the passenger’s inconvenience rather than apologizing for requiring him to deplane. The company’s social media followers were furious. They mocked the scenario by making memes and GIFs, as well as making jokes.


Additionally, United lost about $800 million in income. United couldn’t handle the situation on their own, so they hired a professional crisis management company.

What lessons can we take away from the United Case?

The CEO of United apologized, but his statements infuriated many more more than before. What was the reason behind that? Others who observed the incident on the aircraft, as well as those who watched it on camera, described it as terrible. It deserved a sincere answer, but the tweet demonstrated a lack of comprehension and responsibility. In the instance of United, the CEO’s apology sounded as though he didn’t really care, and their audience sensed it right away. 

Apologies made online must be properly constructed. Analyze the emotions that must be addressed and carefully consider your words – “how may this be offensive?” An apology should not be written in the style of a news release. When a company makes a mistake, it must own up to it and inform the public that it will be addressed and that it will not happen again. 

When you’re ready to apologize in public, do it with passion and sincerity. Use informal language and avoid sounding like a press release.

Pepsi’s Ad Campaign Failed 


What went wrong?

Kendall Jenner, a mega-celebrity, is the face of Pepsi’s latest commercial campaign. The video received over 1.6 million views on YouTube in less than 48 hours. Kendall ditches her blond wig and flees a photo session to join a demonstration on the street in the video. Kendall tosses a can of Pepsi to a police officer, who takes a drink and grins at his colleagues in the video’s most spectacular scene.

The commercial was slammed as “the clearest representation of racial and economic superiority” and was chastised for trivializing protests and important social concerns. Social internet was flooded with memes and jokes. The social media meltdown has started. This incident, like the last one, had an impact on the company’s market value.

How did they deal with the situation?

“Pepsi was aiming to reflect a worldwide message of togetherness, peace, and understanding,” Pepsi said in a statement after removing the video from its official social media accounts. We clearly missed the target, and we sincerely apologize.”


What lessons can we draw from the Pepsi case?

Companies prefer to appeal to social concerns when they’re trying to get their audience’s attention. The popular concept of building a “consumer persona” and “speaking to the audience in their language” is a good one, but as you can see, it may go wrong. Pepsi said, “We did not want to make light of any serious problem.” However, it is precisely what they did. The audience on social media thought the company was making light of a serious problem, which sparked the situation.

So, before you begin a product marketing campaign, make sure you test it! Show an ad to a tiny segment of your target audience, and then show it to those who aren’t in your target demographic. Prevent the problem from escalating. When comparing Pepsi to the United case, it’s clear that Pepsi apologized appropriately. They summed up what had transpired and accepted responsibility. Their social media following loved the fact that they cared and were really sorry for the mistake.

Test a product advertising campaign before releasing it! Show an ad to a select subset of your target demographic. Prevent the problem from escalating.

The Data Crisis at Gitlab


What went wrong?

One of Gitlab’s software engineers mistakenly deleted customer data from the main database server on January 31, 2017. Furthermore, multiple backup efforts failed, and the organization lost access to a significant quantity of data. For 18 hours,’s service remained unavailable, which was unacceptable to the organization. To emphasize the seriousness of the situation, Gitlab’s customers include IBM, Sony, NASA, Alibaba, Invincea, Jülich Research Center, O’Reilly Media, Leibniz-Rechenzentrum (LRZ), and CERN, and it was their code that was unintentionally erased by Gitlab. The crisis began as soon as Gitlab publicized the problem on social media.

How did they deal with the situation?

I can’t help but applaud Gitlab’s flawless handling of the problem. How did they pull it off? Gitlab first informed its customers and social media followers that a problem had arisen. They then proceeded to provide a full explanation of what had occurred and how they intended to rectify the situation. They released a full explanation including the lessons they learnt a few days after the situation was solved. The article “Six reputation management lessons you can learn from GitLab’s error” provides a comprehensive examination of the topic.

And here is when the intriguing part begins. Take a look at the current state of social audience engagement. There are two spikes: a rise in the number of people responding to the tweets and an increase in the number of people responding to the tweets. Throughout the situation, these two tweets with extensive explanations received the most interaction. 


The problem was significant, and it couldn’t be addressed quickly, so Gitlab did something unusual: they turned to the professional community for assistance. They reintroduced live data access so that everyone could engage and assist. Another advantage is that they made communication simple:

  • They created a Google Doc that included live notes.
  • To cover social media, they established the hashtag #HugOps.
  • They used YouTube to live-stream the problem-solving process.

Gitlab organized a large-scale conversation and invited everyone to participate in the online event. Gitlab’s problem was no longer a crisis, but a challenge for the whole professional community as a result of their activities, and those experts were eager to assist. The problem was resolved.


What can we learn from the example of Gitlab?

This technique may not work for everyone, but if you know you won’t be able to handle an issue on your own, you might seek assistance from your social network community. There will always be some who will pass judgment on you, but there will also be others who will provide assistance. The issue was changed from a crisis to an opportunity the instant Gitlab called for assistance. Their professional community as a whole got concerned about the issue. Instead of criticizing them for their error, Gitlab’s social media followers congratulated them when the situation was rectified. The moral of the story is that two heads are better than one. Depending on your sector, asking for aid might help you get public support. To tackle the issue, enlist further assistance. 

It’s better to have two heads than one. By requesting assistance, you may be able to sway public opinion in your favor. 

Last Thoughts

Failure is inevitable, and that’s OK since there’s always something to learn from it. It will happen to everyone of us at some time. What matters the most is what you do after you’ve fallen. 

You’ll be able to respond swiftly and correctly if you actively monitor social media platforms, which is critical for any company. When another firm is experiencing an ORM problem, there is always something to learn. Here’s what we discovered from the three businesses mentioned above:

  1. Recognize and acknowledge the issue. This is the most important step: figure out what the true issue is before apologizing.
  2. Evaluate the emotions that need to be addressed and carefully consider your words. Do it correctly when you’re ready to apologize. Don’t create a remark that sounds like a press release; instead, speak from your heart.
  3. Make eye contact with your audience. Explain what occurred and how you intend to resolve the issue. The public on social media enjoys giving advise. It’s possible that some of it will be beneficial.

“Do not wait for a social media disaster to arise,” Shayla Price (@shaylaprice) stated during one of our Webinomy chats. “Think forward.”

I’m passing the microphone to you. Do you have any tips or examples for handling a social media crisis?

Find out who has mentioned you.

Social Media Tracker by Webinomy

ADS illustration

Watch This Video-

Social media management is becoming more and more difficult. Social media crisis examples 2019 are on the rise, but they can be avoided if you know what to do. Reference: social media crisis examples 2019.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you deal with a PR nightmare?

A: I am not programmed to deal with PR nightmares.

How do you deal with bad PR on social media?

A: We have a team of professional Social Media Managers that work to not only create original content for our community, but also answer questions and engage with fans. Our PR team is on standby 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!

What are examples of social media crisis?

A: Social media crisis are times when you have to deal with a big problem online, such as being heavily criticized on your posts.

Related Tags

  • social media crisis management examples
  • social media crisis examples
  • social media crisis examples 2020
  • role of social media in crisis management
  • social media crisis management plan pdf

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.