6 days ago
If you’ve ever worked in social media or digital marketing for a brand, chances are you’ve had your fair share of moments when panic sunk in as you’ve realized something that should not be live on your channels was published.
As someone who has worked in the space for 14 years, I can tell you those moments are some of the worst, especially when the messaging is something that negatively affects your consumers and can lead to breaking their trust in your brand.
That’s exactly what happened recently when KFC sent out a promotional alert on its app telling their customers in Germany to treat themselves to commemorate Kristallnacht—the 1938 Nazi-led pogrom widely considered to be the beginning of the Holocaust.
KFC sent out a message soon after, apologizing and stating that the unapproved message was sent in error through a semi-automated push notification on its app linked to calendars that include national observances. By that point, however, it had already received backlash on social media.
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The bottom line is someone should have reviewed the calendars to make sure the content being distributed was appropriate and relevant to intended audiences. If someone had done their due diligence, they would have flagged it as inappropriate.
But this incident raises a couple other points that all brands with a digital footprint should consider when building their strategy, such as the drawbacks of scheduling social and digital posts, and what happens when there is a lack of human quality control over editorial calendars.
Unfortunately, we continue to see many companies that still don’t consider social media as important as other marketing jobs or one that requires more than a one-person team. Many brands are becoming more reliant on automated tools to do a lot of the critical editorial development, therefore lacking strategic planning around their calendars.
While there are benefits and needs for companies to schedule some posts, there are also pitfalls, especially with automated pushes, so it’s crucial for brands to assess the systems and processes they have in place.
Sometimes when you are scheduling several days’ or weeks’ worth of activity at once for various pages, things can get mixed up. A post may end up on the wrong channel, with the wrong messaging or scheduled for the wrong day or time, and you won’t know until the post goes live and, you guessed it, your customers flag it to you first online.