This week, two stories are doing the rounds on the social media sites which highlight how companies can get it wrong with social media marketing.

The first tale is about Rentokil who, for those not in the UK, are a pest control company. It appears they have got their Twitter strategy a little skewiff. In fact, doesn’t it remind you of Habitat’s Twitter problems?

The other tale, which is actually a viral video that is just going viral as I write, is about Nestle and KitKat. By insisting the video (made by Greenpeace)  is removed from Youtube, this has incensed those involved, who have sought  other places to post it and begun a social media campaign to ensure that it is seen by as many people as possible. Right now, that approach seems to be working.

This last is, of course, a very old tactic which groups like the Sex Pistols and Frankie Goes to Hollywood showed the efficacy of by being banned from primetime radio stations.

There are several lessons to be learned here.

1) Social media is here. It will not go away. If you are doing *anything* as a corporate which may seem distasteful, dishonest, unethical, whether it is or not, it is likely to attract attention. Handle it carefully when the attention is turned to your company. Trying to hide it will bring ever more attention and your damage limitation may become crisis management.

2) Social media has rules. It is however social media and not rocket science. The rules are simple and easy to find out. If in doubt, lurk before leaping! And if you seem to be digging a deep hole, take a step back and consider your options, carefully.

3) If you want to go viral, get banned from a very big site and make sure everyone knows!!

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ClickThrough is a digital marketing agency, providing search engine optimisation, pay per click management, conversion optimisation, web development and content marketing services.