Social media fail: good meme gone bad

23 Jan 2017 Social media fail: good meme gone bad

Wendy’s social media fail serves as a warning to community managers

In one of the many strange twists and turns that was the year 2016, a once-beloved meme is now considered off-limits . In September 2016, The Anti-Defamation League declared Pepe the Frog a hate symbol. Since extreme right-wing groups began using the meme to spread messages of discrimination, Pepe has taken on new connotations that are utterly unfunny for such a goofy-looking frog.

If this is the first time you’re hearing of this, you’re not alone. In early 2017, Wendy’s Twitter account sent out a red haired version of Pepe that did not go over well. After their followers called them out on this social media fail, Wendy’s quickly deleted the post and explained that their community manager was unaware of the meme’s new connotations. However, the unfortunate tweet lives on via screenshot.

This miscalculated tweet ended Wendy’s Twitter hot streak, during which the fast food chain found success while roasting their followers.

The higher you fly, the harder you fall.

What can social media managers learn from this? In a continuously evolving online world, it’s important to think – and research – before you tweet. It only takes a second to tarnish your brand’s reputation; make sure you fully stand behind everything you share with your followers.

Take it from Wendy’s – sometimes, a meme isn’t just a meme.

Lindey Sudo

Writer and Golden Girls enthusiast Lindey Sudo travels the continent in search of great stories. As a graduate of the Vancouver Film School’s Writing Program, she has spent time brainstorming in writers’ rooms, networking in Los Angeles and captivating audiences on Canada’s Smartest Person in Toronto (as an audience member). Lindey’s all-consuming love for the written word has led to her latest endeavour: content creation. When not glued to her word processor, Lindey enjoys playing guitar, skiing, attempting aerial yoga and Rolling Up The Rim To Win.

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