Lessons Learned from Top Twitter Fails of 2014




Twitter allows its users to only use 140 characters. You wouldn’t think a lot could go wrong with 140 characters, but the accounts and people below were trying really hard to not screw up, yet totally did. And it was truly entertaining.

However, we now have an opportunity to learn from their mistakes so we can have a truly successful 2015 on Twitter!

Twitter CFO Doesn’t Know How to Send a Direct Message

This is my personal favorite, simply because of the context of who did what.

Twitter’s CFO, Anthony Noto, sent a direct message (DM) to another user. At least, he tried to.

He sent out the Tweet, “I still think we should buy them. He is on your schedule for Dec 15 or 16–we will need to sell him. i have a plan.”

So, instead of one person, thousands saw the message before it was removed. If you don’t see why this is funny, let me spell it out for you.

The guy who helps manage Twitter tried to send a DM and sent a Tweet instead. It is so fundamental; it hurts my head to think about too long.

Luckily for Noto, his DM dealt with plans to buy another company and he didn’t go into specifics. He could have gone full Anthony Weiner and been really a laughing stock at Twitter. 4

Lesson Learned: Always Double Check Who You Are Sending Messages To

Best Buy Attempts to Ride Serial Wave, Crashes Instead

Best Buy has been mentioned many times in the incredibly popular podcast, Serial.

So, Best Buy thought to ride on the popularity of this program and sent out this message:

Best Buy attempts to ride the wave of popularity of the podcast

Best Buy attempts to ride the wave of popularity of the podcast “Serial” and ends up failing.

Those of you not familiar with the podcast Serial, let me catch you up real quickly. Serial focuses on the murder of a teenager girl named Have Min Lee. She was murdered in 1999, and her then ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, was convicted.

One of the crucial points presented in the case focused on a call at a Best Buy payphone.

Best Buy removed the tweet, but not before thousands retweeted and reacted to the message.

Lesson Learned: Sensitive Material is Not the Best Subject Matter for Jokes

Going to Use a Hashtag? Find Out What It Means, First, DiGiorno’s.

By this point, we all know the Ray Rice’s assault on his wife, Janay Palmer Rice. Janay publicly stated she would be staying with Ray and Twitter exploded and women began sharing stories about why they didn’t leave their abusive partners.

They used the hashtag – #WhyIStayed

In a classic case of Know What the Hashtag is About, First, DiGiorno’s didn’t follow that rule.

Digiorno Pizza used a hashtag without seeing what it pertained too first.

Digiorno Pizza used a hashtag without seeing what it pertained too first.

So…they sent this: 

Of course, they removed it and sent out an apology. But seriously folks…

Lesson Learned:Know What the Hashtag is About, First.

US Airways Using Graphic Content. No, Not That Kind of Graphic. THAT Kind of Graphic

US Airways started an exchange with a customer in a stereotypical way. “Sorry for the inconvenience”, “We apologize for your frustration”, so on and so forth, as the issue pertained to a delayed flight.

A couple days went by, and then out of nowhere, US Airways sent an incredibly graphic Tweet to the customer who had the initial complaint.

Apparently, the graphic image was sent to US Airways from some other user’s account, and US Airways copied the URL of the image in an attempt to block in from appearing on their internal networks.

Some accidental copy/paste magic and US Airways sent out the wrong image URL.

Lesson Learned: Check Your URLs And Images Before Sending Them Out

Many ways exist to be successful at Twitter. However, it takes a special few to really fail. This year, we saw quite a few fails on the outlet, but these 4 hold a special place in my heart.

Let’s all learn from their failures and aim for success in 2015!

Now, let me just attach this image…add a couple hashtags I know nothing about…and hit post…oops…


Magnani is an experience design and strategy firm that crafts transformational digital experiences to delight users and deliver sustainable competitive market advantages for our clients.


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