11 Biggest Social Media Disasters of 2012

Seth Fiegerman
Brad Pitt Joins Sina Weibo, Sends Surprising First Message
1. McDonald's Promoted Trend Goes Wrong

1. McDonald's Promoted Trend Goes Wrong

Back in January, McDonald's tried to promote its brand and engage with customers through two promoted trends: #meetthefarmers and #mcdstories. Unfortunately for McDonald's, many Twitter users decided to post their horror stories at the fast food chain using the second of those hashtags. In essence, McDonald's paid to promote a trend that showered the company in bad publicity. McDonald's later admitted that "#mcdstories did not go as planned."

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The calendar year wouldn't be complete without a few social media fails.

In 2012, plenty of big brands and organizations suffered serious backlashes on social networks like Twitter and Facebook for offensive tweets, questionable ad campaigns or controversial company statements. Some, like McDonald's, attempted good-natured social media campaigns that simply took unexpected turns. Others, like StubHub's and KitchenAid's Twitter accounts mistakenly send out shocking tweets.

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SEE ALSO: 8 Social Media Hoaxes You Fell for This Year

If there's one lesson to take away from this year's fails, it's that brands need to be particularly careful when it comes to tying a promotion or post to a big, public event. Several of the businesses on our list were heavily criticized for posts relating to the presidential election and Hurricane Sandy, for example.

We've dug up 11 of the most memorable social media mistakes from this year.  If we missed any that you remember, let us know in the comments.

Thumbnail image courtesy of Flickr, Gage Skidmore

This story originally published on Mashable here.