6 Lessons we can learn from the recent SABC + H&M tweets

Social media is awesome and you have a lot of power, especially if you manage big brands. But with great power comes great responsibility. And some people can’t handle that. Let’s take a look at the twittersphere last week as we thank the SABC and H&M for showing us what NOT to do.


Someone at the SABC sent out a little tweet. And South Africans, being as awesome as we are, weren’t even offended by the profanity. Instead we thanked that person for saying what we are all thinking.




The lifecycle goes something like this:

1. SABC tweet about Zuma’s new jet upgrade and add their thoughts.

2. Twitter high fives that employee.

3. SABC tweet an apology. Apology has a typo and they only apologise for the profanity. They don’t apologise for the opinion.

Lessons: if you stick it to the man, then you will be a hero. Typos are never cool. Also keep an eye on who has access to your Twitter profile and change the password whenever someone leaves.


The fashion brand had their launch party in Cape Town and Joburg and someone pointed out that their models were mainly white. Instead of making changes, they tweeted this.


 The lifecycle of the H&M twitter scandal goes like this:

1. SA fashion blogger points out that H&M only have white models.

2. H&M opt to reply with a number of tweets and in tweet 1 of 4 express their desire to convey a “positive image”.

3. H&M said what? Twitter reacts.

4. H&M issue an apology. Not 1 of 4 tweets this time.

Lessons: always address issues head on and don’t make excuses. Never send a tweets out in parts. Twitter has a 140 character limit for a reason.

Fail Whale: don’t ever list how many black models you have worked with after only using white models for a campaign in South Africa. This is the equavalent of a white person saying that they are not racist because they have that one black friend.

And to top it off, my favourite trolling account tweeted this:

I'd love to chat to you some more.


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