A History of Social Media Screw Ups

It’s been five years since we launched Custom Communication to help companies tell their own stories using smart, useful content online.

Back in 2005 most companies were just starting to consider the influence blogs and customer opinions could have on their business. After all, Twitter and YouTube hadn’t even launched back then while Facebook was still a niche networking tool used by solely by students.

We hadn’t intended to focus on social media but the more we talked to clients we realised they needed help understanding how social media might change their customer communications and how this explosion in personal publishing would affect their reputation online.

So, over the last five years, we’ve specialised in three areas of business: social media training and strategy, online reputation management and teaching companies how to think like online publishers while also creating custom content.

As we mark the fifth anniversary of our consultancy I started reflecting on the way our online world has changed in such a short time and how many companies have been caught off-guard by social media. (See how the numbers of instances have grown in that time).

I thought it would be fun to try and document all the important company misadventures in social media. Here it is - A Short History of Social Media Screw Ups. Tell us what you think and if we’ve missed any good examples.