Naperville Lawyer Discusses How Social Media Blunders Can Hurt Your Business

social media, Naperville business law attorneySocial media has become an all-encompassing communication tool in the last few decades. There was a time that a person’s social media feed was filled almost exclusively with status updates and pictures from their friends and family. Today, social media is much more corporate, and the average person’s social media feeds may include posts from companies regarding sales, giveaways, or just general advertisements.

In my practice as a business law attorney, I am often asked about ways that social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can be used to build brand awareness. While social media can be useful to attract customers when used properly, is not without its risks. Some companies have made mistakes with social media that cost them significantly.

Corporate Social Media Mistakes

Virtually nothing on the internet can ever be completely forgotten. A person who tweets or posts something unintentional or offensive can rarely delete it before someone has a record of it. This makes social media mistakes very problematic for business. For example, when actress Carrie Fisher passed away in December of 2016, Cinnabon tweeted a picture of Fisher as Princess Leia with a Cinnabon roll in place of her famous Star Wars hairstyle. The picture included the caption, “You’ll always have the best buns in the galaxy.” Many people found this tweet to be in poor taste, and the chain’s public image took a hit.

Another instance of social media gone wrong occurred when US Airways accidentally tweeted a sexually explicit picture by mistake in 2014. The image was only up on the airlines official Twitter page for an hour. However, an hour on the internet was plenty of time for people to screenshot the graphic image and share it with others. In a matter of a few days, almost everyone had heard about the embarrassing mistake and blamed the airline for not monitoring its social media efforts better.

One more example happened after a small bakery called Amy’s Baking Company was featured on a one of celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay’s reality TV shows in 2013. The company unsurprisingly gained many new social media followers after appearing on the show. Instead of using this new publicity for good, the business owners responded to criticism on their Facebook page with rage and insults. Among other things, the company called the commenters “stupid people” and “trash” and told them “…do not blame us if you cannot afford quality.” By 2015, Amy’s Baking Company was closed.

Call a Business Law Attorney

The experienced Naperville business law attorneys at the Gierach Law Firm understand that for many companies, their online reputation is deeply important to the success of the business. We provide comprehensive business law services to those starting a business, drafting business contracts, buying or selling a business, facing business litigation, developing employee handbooks, managing taxes, and more. Call us at 630-756-1160 to schedule a consultation today.



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