Social media continues to dominate marketing efforts from all the big businesses out there. The more tweets, likes and “+1”s you get the better, correct? Well, yes and no. Continuing from last year, here’s a round-up of the some of the best and worst social media happenings of 2014:

Delta - FAIL:

2014 saw the return of the World Cup and with it a lot of action across all forms of social media, great! Unless that is you were the team behind Delta who tweeted this when the USA beat Ghana:

 Delta

Now we’re sure that there are giraffes in Ghana, probably in a zoo, definitely not natively.

Royal Dutch Airlines - FAIL:

After that catastrophe, you would think that big businesses would be a little more alert and ready to do some research before tweeting other countries right? Wrong. Here's a Royal Dutch Airlines tweet when the Netherlands knocked out Mexico:

RDA

If you managed to make it to our #SOAK seminar you would have heard Joey talk about this one, if not, he said topical conversations are great but advised against offending an entire nation.. and to not adhere to stereotypes (that is the inclusion of the sombrero and moustache).

Snickers - WIN:

Luckily amongst all the slip ups, Snickers came to the rescue with this piece of gold. With reaction times rivaling that of Oreo last year during the Superbowl, when Suarez decided he was a bit peckish (again), they popped up with this:

Snickers

Not only was it an extremely hot topic, they completely adapted their brand to the moment and jumped on the hashtag. The number of retweets speaks for itself.

David Cameron - UNDECIDED:

Aside from the world of sport, there’s been a lot going on this year. It’s hard to avoid all politics surrounding Russia for example. Earlier this year David Cameron tweeted a seemingly unremarkable image of himself on the phone to President Obama:

 David Cameron

Now, it’s a very serious matter we don’t dispute that, but social media can be a cruel world for those high up, and it can also provide gems at the most unexpected of times, even celebrities don’t hesitate to jump in:

 David Cameron

We’re not sure if this is a win or a fail on Cameron’s part, but it provided some pretty amusing responses.

LG - FAIL:

James was quick to act on the release of the new iPhone 6, but what wasn’t expected was the #bendgate situation that came shortly after. When you are as big as Apple, you have some pretty fierce competitors ready to take shots at any opportunity, and LG were quick to join:

LG

The only problem… they tweeted straight from the product they were taking shots at, a poor show of brand loyalty there.

IKEA - WIN:

When taking into account social media, it’s not just Facebook, Twitter and Google+ that play their part. There’s a whole host of other networks out there, and video is the newer kid on the block with Vine, Instagram and YouTube. One of the best examples this year? Ikea’s new catalogue:

Ikea

Combining parody, humour and some simple clever thinking, Ikea nailed this one by turning the mundane into something shareable.

BNP - FAIL:

Back to politics now, and this year saw the centenary of the start of World War 1. Remembrance day happens every year, the same day, the same time for the reason we’re all aware of. So there’s no excuses for this poor effort from the BNP:

 BNP

It is a good idea to schedule tweets, but make sure they’re on the right day…

Microsoft and Nissan - WIN:

It’s been pretty difficult to avoid that photo of Kim Kardashian for Paper Magazine as of late, but incase you missed it, here it is again (we apologise):

Kim

Luckily though, there’s been some quick acting and amusing responses to it. Microsoft and Nissan to name just two:

 Microsoft Nissan

Lesson: don’t be afraid to go a little tongue in cheek, especially if it’s something people are going to find amusing and share.

So what can we learn from all this? While the intentions might be right it is all about the execution. Check that the time you send your message or the device you send it from don't undermine what you are trying to say. Avoid alienating your potential customers by not doing the research, and don't be afraid at times to get a little cheeky if it's in good spirit.