Another company whose success depends on going viral might have made a major misstep in their social media strategy: BuzzFeed.
As the nation watched an emergency plane landing commence in St. Louis (with the fate of the pilot and anyone else onboard hanging in the balance), one of the most high-pressure situations imaginable, someone at the BuzzFeed social media desk decided that they had to post a link to a live stream to snatch burgeoning traffic on Twitter and Facebook.
No grudges there. We live, unfortunately, in a world where 24/7 media is the new norm, and everyone is rushing to provide the fastest, trending-est coverage.
However, as a recent Tweet calling Oscar nominee Quvenzhané Wallis a "c*nt" by The Onion demonstrated, sometimes the rush to post an update on social media can be really bad for your brand.
Hence the following:
So to recap: plane might crash land. In the rush to grab traffic, BuzzFeed posts a grossly premature link to a live stream of a "possible plane crash" while the plane is still in the air.
While we might rush to condemn, perhaps the more important takeaway is that in today's crazy, social-media-oriented news universe, it's pretty easy to make a dumb mistake that makes you look like a jerk. Maybe we could all afford to step back off the pedal a little when discussing sensitive things like whether or not some poor stressed-out pilot is going to save the eight lives depending on him for a safe crash landing.