Social media is a fantastic tool that can help you reach a wide audience of like-minded people. In the right hands, platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook enable users to promote their brand, tell their stories, and offer opinions on current affairs. In the wrong hands, however, social media can be your downfall, as several celebrities have discovered over the years.
Ill-thought out replies, extreme points of view, and doctored photos can all lead to a huge backlash from your followers. Such blunders can destroy your reputation and sink a brand. Below, we’ve picked 8 of the biggest celebrity social media mistakes that you’d do well to avoid!
Cher: pick your emojis carefully
Pop icon Cher might not be the first person you think of when considering celebrity blunders on social media. However, her mistake is one that is all too easy to repeat if you’re not concentrating, and it’s worth a mention. In June 2016, in response to a Turkish airport attack, she tweeted;
“We all pray for innocent ppl in turkey airport”
Fair enough right? Unfortunately, she felt the need to add a bomb and explosion emoji to the text. This poor use of emojis came back to bite her, as hundreds of followers called her out for being insensitive. She later apologized.
Charlie Sheen: check your media
In this digital age, things move fast. One minute you’re on a conference call with colleagues across the globe, the next you’re writing a private message to your mom. It’s all-too-easy to get caught up in a hundred different things all at once, but it’s always important to double-check before you hit that send button, as Charlie Sheen regrettably found out.
In a Tweet that was obviously meant to be a private message, he wrote his personal number and the message “Call me bro. C”. Of course, once his phone wouldn’t stop ringing, he soon realized his blunder! In the end, he had to change his phone number entirely.
Stefano Gabbana: don’t insult your followers
As a brand owner, social media platforms are a fantastic way of engaging with your customers and reaching new ones. Building up a large, loyal following can take years, so whatever you do, don’t insult your followers/customers!
Stefano Gabbana of Dolce & Gabbana did just that in a 2017 marketing campaign for a new pair of sneakers. Daubed in glitter and messages such as ‘I’m thin & gorgeous’, the controversial footwear didn’t go down too well, with customers feeling shamed for not having the ideal body type. Gabbana made things worse with a series of insulting replies, calling customers who did complain things like an idiot, and stupid.
Little Mix: be careful with your copy
Often, celebrities don’t create all of their own posts. Instead, they hire marketing and writing companies to create copy for them. There’s nothing wrong with this, and if your talents don’t lie in writing, it’s fine to hire someone else to promote your brand.
However, be very careful when you do make a post that you haven’t created yourself, or you might end up like British pop group Little Mix. When promoting their new branded perfume, they copied and pasted a private message in its entirety, rather than just selecting the actual copy. Adding a caption that starts with “how’s this copy Jade?” ruins the impact somewhat!
Mischa Barton: pair your text and image properly
You may write the most beautiful, heartfelt message, but that won’t mean anything if the image you post with it does the talking. Or indeed vice versa. A successful post should be well-thought-out, with images and text that correspond to each other. Mischa Barton could have used this advice in 2016 when she wrote a touching message mourning the shooting of Alton Sterling in an Instagram message.
Unfortunately, the heartfelt words were somewhat overshadowed by the accompanying photo. It showed Ms. Barton dressed in a skimpy black bikini, eyes closed with a glass of champagne in hand, on a yacht. Needless to say, many of her followers berated her choice of photo, and she soon hit the delete button.
Mary J. Blige: use spell check, even when you’re angry!
When you want to come across as intelligent and witty, it’s a good idea to make sure that what you write makes sense. This is especially true on social media platforms, and even more important when you’re angrily defending your intelligence. Ah but a message typed in anger can quickly lead to regret, just ask Mary J. Blige, who asked her followers;
“Why is that people always try to understand estimate my intelligence?! They should never do that!”
A simple re-read and spell check before hitting send Tweet really does work wonders. It doesn’t help that in a follow-up, she misspelled ‘miss-spelling’. Check yourself, or be prepared to be the butt of the joke.
Lindsay Lohan: don’t downplay things just because they don’t affect you
From personal issues to natural disasters, unless you’ve been through something similar, it’s hard to imagine the impact they can have on people’s lives. But ignorance is no excuse for downplaying the effect something can have on another person. Lindsay Lohan would have done well to remember this before hitting send on this 2012 Tweet;
“WHY is everyone in SUCH a panic about hurricane (I’m calling it Sally)..? Stop projecting negativity! Think positive and pray for peace”.
Just because you’re unable to relate to other people’s problems, that doesn’t they don’t exist. By posting ignorant comments that downplay an issue, you risk alienating your followers.
Kevin Hart: things you post can come back to haunt you
In the digital age, pretty much everything is recorded and stored indefinitely. Things you posted 10 years ago are still alive and kicking somewhere on the internet, and you can be sure that someone knows where to find them. With that in mind, it’s good to remember the following sage advice; think before you talk — or hit the send button.
Comedian Kevin Hart learned the consequences of not heeding that advice the hard way. Within hours of being announced as the host for the 2019 Oscars, a series of racist, homophobic tweets from his past resurfaced. Outrage and anger ensued, leading to him stepping down as the host, with his reputation in tatters.
Celebrities, making social media mistakes so you don’t have to since social media was a thing! It really doesn’t take much to make a blunder, but the results can range from hilarious to devastating. Be mindful of other people, think first, and watch your spelling and grammar, and all should be okay.