by Kim Niemi
Images are a crucial part of social media marketing. Accompanied by a snippet of text, a well-chosen image can make your followers feel like they are along for the ride, and whet their appetites for more. But the wrong image can spell disaster for your company.
Case in point, over the weekend American Apparel, the youthful, American-made garment company, posted what a nameless “international social media employee” deemed a fitting Independence Day image on the company’s Tumblr page. The image of smoke curls presumed to be the preamble or after-effects of fireworks were actually an artist-modified capture of the fatal explosion of the space shuttle Challenger.
American Apparel removed the image, issuing an apology stating that said employee was “born after the tragedy and was unaware of the event.” But that doesn’t really make it okay.
The worst part of social sabotage issues like this, is how avoidable they are. A simple right-click and Google search would have shown the young poster how inappropriate the image was, but they obviously didn’t take the time to research it; it’s a huge, embarrassing mistake that possibly got them fired. One more social sabotage lesson learned the hard way.
Want to avoid the same mistakes in your own posts? Here are a few pointers: