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Grow Your Business Social Media

6 Potential Social Media Disasters Averted

cookies . / Credit: Oreo Image via Shutterstock

It was the Tweet not heard around the world. After last night’s State of the Union address, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who was delivering the Republican response to President Obama's speech, gave his mini-bottle of Poland Spring an unexpected cameo. The act spawned an Internet meme any social media manager would die for, but Poland Spring dropped the ball, or the Tweet, as it were.

The company missed a chance to take the marketing ball and run with it, thanks, in part, to their absence from Twitter. According to BloombergBusinessWeek, Poland Spring’s Twitter account has been inactive since July and its corporate account since January 2011. However, Poland Spring did respond today (Feb. 13) with a Facebook post of a water bottle in front of a mirror.  

The company could have taken a lesson from these quick-thinking companies who, in recent memory, have acted quickly to generate publicity and raise their public image by responding to current events.

Oreo’s Super Bowl Touchdown

Oreo took quick action and capitalized on the 34-minute outage that left the more than 70,000 fans in attendance at Super Bowl XLVII  and the 108 million watching on TV in the dark. However, it was not a multi-million dollar commercial that had everyone talking, but rather a tweet that won the night. 

The tweet, with the image of an Oreo and the phrase, "You can still dunk in the dark," has since been re-tweeted more than 15,000 times and favorited close to 6,000 times. Oreo's response, however, was not simply the result of luck. 

"We had a mission control set up at our office with the brand and 360i, and when the blackout happened, the team looked at it as an opportunity," Sarah Hofstetter, president of digital ad agency 360i, told BuzzFeed. "Because the brand team was there, it was easy to get approvals and get it up in minutes."

Taco Bell heads north

Taco Bell turned a joke  between two town members about the popular food chain opening a store in a remote Alaskan town into a viral marketing success. To accomplish this feat, Taco Bell airlifted a truck full of 10,000 tacos to the remote town of Bethel, Alaska, located 400 miles from the nearest Taco Bell. 

This action garnered a lot of positive attention for Taco Bell from residents in the town, fans on social media and news agencies. At the time of publication, the Youtube video chronicling the experience had received more than 130,000 views and 100 comments.  

Duracell charges everything (for nothing)

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy , numerous companies responded to help those affected by the storm. One of those companies, Duracell, brought its portable charging station to Lower Manhattan and other parts of the Tri-State Area that had lost power after the storm.

The move garnered strong support on social media, earning more than 1,300 likes on the company's Facebook page. An overwhelming majority of comments left on the Duracell Facebook fan page were positive and appreciative of the company's actions.

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Mellow Mushroom gets romantic

A simple act by national pizza franchise Mellow Mushroom went viral and won the company a few fans in the process. That act was sparked by Army National Guard Maj. Shawn Fulker, who emailed the corporate headquarters of Mellow Mushroom asking if the company could deliver a pizza and $50 gift card to his home for his wife's birthday. Fulker, who was deployed in Afghanistan at the time, also said that he would call the company to provide payment information for his request if it was possible.

Not only was the act possible, but the Jacksonville Mellow Mushroom took Fulker's request one step further. The company, which has more than 20 locations nationwide, made Fulker's wife a heart-shaped pizza and delivered it to the family's home, along with a bouquet of flowers, balloons and a gift card. 

"Of course we weren't going to charge him for anything," Jacksonville Mellow Mushroom franchise owner John Valentino told ABC. "Hopefully, in her husband's absence, we were able to help her have a great birthday while he's over in Afghanistan serving our country."

The simple act of kindness ended up gaining the company a lot of press attention and positive reviews on social media. At the time of publication, the post announcing the move on the company Facebook page had more than 140,000 likes. 

Ticketmaster has the ticket

Sharon Osgood wired close to $6,000 for four Super Bowl tickets. The only problem is that Osgood, a San Francisco 49ers' fan, wired the money to a Baltimore Ravens fan in response to a Craiglist ad for tickets. In return, that fan sent a picture of team quarterbacks, Joe Flacco and Colin Kaepernick, with a note saying, "Enjoy the game! Go Ravens! LOL!"  

Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard reached out to Osgood after hearing her story and offered her four free tickets to the game, along with a breakfast with NFL legend Troy Aikman, according to the San Jose Mercury News. Though the reaction was mixed between those who felt sorry for Osgood and those who faulted her for being gullible in sending the money in the first place, the story gained lots of media attention. However, no one was happier than Osgood about the outcome. 

"My heart literally was in my throat. It was fluttering. I was like, 'Oh my God, I can't believe this is happening.' I can't put into words how grateful I am," Osgood told the Mercury News.   

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Jell-O drowns their sorrows

Jell-O consoled the collective spirit of San Francisco 49ers  fans in the days after the team's Super Bowl XLVII loss with a simple giveaway.  The company announced on its Facebook page that it would give away free pudding at several sites in San Francisco on the Tuesday following the Super Bowl, The Los Angeles Times says. 

Jell-O didn't do the giveaway simply out of courtesy, however. They also did it for the PR, and the free pudding offer gained the company a lot of media attention and positive reactions on social media. 

"Nothing masks the bitter taste of defeat like the sweet taste of Jell-O," a spokesman said in the video announcing the promotion. 

Follow David Mielach on Twitter @D_M89 or BusinessNewsDaily @bndarticles. We're also on Facebook & Google+