When Social Media Goes Awry

Or why you should consider more than just ‘posting a status update’ when posting a status update!

Usually status updates on Facebook can be great for encouraging followers of your brand to interact with you, and at the same time keep your brand in the front of their mind.

A major UK hotel chain usually gets this very right, posting interactive status updates and questions on a Friday morning so that people considering getting away from it all at the weekend consider them for a last minute booking over their rivals.

But today isn’t just any normal Friday, it’s the 11th of November – Armastice Day, where people across the country come to a stop for a two minute silence to pay their respects to those who gave their life for our country and a post asking if anything exciting happened to people is obviously going to cause offence to some.

The hotel chain in question have now removed their status, replacing it with an apology admitting they got it wrong which is absolutely the right (and only) thing for them to do in the situation.
To be fair, their original status was about the numerical significance of the date and time – 11:11:11 on 11/11/11 –  a same-numbered palindrome (reading the same backwards as forwards) something which only happens once every 100 years and was in no way intended to be disrespectful and was no more than an oversight.

From past experience I know that the hotel chain in question observe a two minute silence on Armistice Day, both in their reception areas and in the bars and restaurants they operate but someone really should have considered what else was going on in the world today prior to clicking the submit button.